The International Cricket Council (ICC) has released the ‘ICC Back to Cricket Guidelines’ to guide the safe resumption of cricket activities (training, playing, and travelling) in countries and regions at the community, domestic professional and international levels. Guidelines have been developed by the ICC Medical Advisory Committee in consultation with Member Medical Representatives.
The guidelines guide how members can return to play alongside the resumption of outdoor sport and exercise in their country once they can. It addresses the question of ‘when cricket can restart’ – as this is individualised to each country.
ICC advised its members to create policies based on these guidelines for the safe return of cricket in the country.
“ICC Members should use these guidelines to create polices for back to cricket activity within their own country. It should be read and adopted alongside any national and local government regulations and guidance which should always take precedence over these guidelines. ICC Members should monitor changes to such laws and policies and amend their policies as required, to ensure that their cricket community is applying best practice and complying with national and local requirements,” the guidelines said.
”The guidelines are relevant for all cricket, be it international cricket, domestic professional cricket or community cricket and apply to all participants,” guidelines said.
ICC recommended a phased approach in line with Government regulation for the return of cricket.
ICC advised to divide the return into four stages:
- Individual Training – The load and intensity of training over the stages should be progressive to prevent injury.
- A small group of 3 or less – Participation in cricket training while maintaining social distancing.
- Playing of 10 or less – Small groups/teams work together including a coach.
- Playing of 10 or more – Resume squad-based cricket sessions while limiting contact.
ICC also pointed out that COVID-19 education and awareness should underpin all other measures in resuming international professional cricket.
Some other important points in the guidelines are:
- Consider 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.
- Provide players with clear guidance on the safe management of the ball. This will include o Regular hand sanitising when in contact with the ball
- Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth after making contact with the ball or Saliva should not be used on the ball.
- Players and umpires should maintain social distancing on the cricket field and that includes no handing over of player items (cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers) to the umpire or teammates.
- Consider adopting a process that will assist the bowler in managing his/her items.
- Umpires may also be encouraged to use gloves when handling the ball.