The situation of Coronavirus in the world is not witnessing a significant change, but many sectors have prepared some alternatives in order to restart the working process. Cricket is also slowly walking closer towards its resumption, as the International Cricket Council (ICC) issued “back to cricket” guidelines last week.
The guidelines include 14-day pre-match isolation training camps, regular hand sanitising when in contact with the ball. Apart from these, no player would be allowed to go to the loo or take shower breaks while training.
Players will also be advised to minimise the time spent in the changing room before and after a game. Cricketers will be told not to use saliva on the ball. They won’t be able to hand over or exchange some personal items like a cap, sunglasses, towels etc., to either fellow teammates or the on-field umpires.
However, not everyone is in a mood to welcome the new rules. Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan opined that there are some rules which don’t make sense. He is completely fine with the 14-day quarantine period before the commencement of the series, but Irfan feels it isn’t practical to sanitise hands as the number of times the international apex body has suggested it.
“Social distancing is very doable in an individual sport but very tough in a team sport like cricket and football. If you need a slip during the game, would you not employ it?” asked Irfan.
“If the team is going through a 14-day quarantine and is being tested for COVID-19, I am okay with that process. Now, after that, if we have more guidelines for the players during the game, then you are making things complicated. Then there is no point of a quarantine period,” added Irfan.
Irfan suggested that instead of the usual process, wicket-keepers can be told to give the ball to bowlers directly. However, even then the sanitising process will come into play at least for the bowlers.
“You can shorten the process of giving the ball to the bowler. Instead of the usual chain (wicket-keeper to cover fielder to bowler), the keeper can straight away give the ball to the bowler, but even then the bowler will have to sanitise hands six times in an over,” Irfan added further.