Saturday May 23, 2020
Cricketers will not be able to celebrate wickets on the field with high-fives or hugs when cricket resumes following the COVID-19 lockdown, according to new guidelines issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The cricket governing body on Friday released a 16-page document titled "ICC Back to Cricket Guidelines" that suggested various measures, including the appointment of a COVID-19 doctor with teams and a ban on players handing over their equipment to umpires or teammates.
"On-field behavior that includes celebrations with body contact, and shared use of drink bottles, towels and equipment can pose a risk in cricket and should be strongly discouraged," the document stated.
"Players should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own items like sunglasses, cap, jumpers, towels, and be instructed against handing over any items to umpires or teammates," it added.
It further reads that players and umpires should maintain social distancing on the field of play and that includes no handing over of player items to the umpire or teammates.
"Ensure protocols are in place for players attending training or competition to maintain social distancing of at least 1.5m on-field and off-field," the document mentions.
The document, which is prepared with input from the ICC Medical Advisory Committee, added in one of its pointers that members should consider appointing a Chief Medical Officer and/or Biosafety Official, who will be responsible for implementing government regulations and the biosafety plan to resume training and competition.
In another point, the document identifies the need for a pre-match isolation training camp with health, temperature checks, and CV-19 testing - e.g. at least 14 days prior to travel to ensure the team is CV-19 free.
The guidelines further confirmed that saliva will not be used on the ball and suggested that umpires should consider wearing gloves when handling the ball.
While advising member boards on steps to resuming cricket, the ICC guideline stated that boards should follow their respective government on when to resume cricket but added that members must review domestic playing conditions to minimize risks associated with playing during this CV-19 period.
"Consider rule amendments to allow for the safe management of the ball and adopting a process that will assist the bowler in managing his/her items," the document highlights.
The document also encourages bowlers to regular hand sanitizing when in contact with the ball and do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth after making contact with the ball.
Guiding about safe travel for players for international cricket, ICC has suggested teams to consider chartered flights and seat spacing to ensure social distancing. It further tells that player, when travel, should stay at dedicated floors with no shared rooms.