The International Cricket Council (ICC) has advised its member countries to exercise caution at the same time resuming cricket activities, fearing local transmission with many nations still fighting to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
As member nations ease restrictions that are imposed to contain the pandemic, on Friday, the ICC issued comprehensive guidelines aimed at getting the sport up while maintaining the highest safety protocols.
Safety first is one of the primary considerations of the council’s back-to-cricket guidelines and involving the governments at all stages is a must.
The ICC said in its guidelines that the resumption of cricket activities should begin only if there is no perceived or known risk that doing so might result in an increase in the local transmission rate.
While England remains one of the most affected countries, major cricket-playing nations such as India and Pakistan have seen a spike in the number of coronavirus positive cases in recent weeks.
The world governing body of the sport added that every effort should be made to make sure that risks associated with the cricket environment, including the field of play, changing rooms, equipment, training venue, management of the ball, have been mitigated before any training session or match. Like other global sports, cricket came to a screeching halt owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, which first originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province.
Big-ticket events such as the glitzy Indian Premier League and bilateral series were indefinitely suspended as the pandemic got down to spreading its ugly tentacles all around the world.
And although cricket is a non-contact sport, the ICC is treading a cautious path considering the risk that the unprecedented health crisis involves.
Under the government advice, the apex body guidelines wrote down that the ICC Members should be guided by the advice of their governments in relation to when sporting activity is resumed. Where sporting activities has been expressly forbidden by the governments, no cricket activity should commence till approval to do so has been obtained from the government.