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No shared use of drink bottles to appointment of on-call doctors: ICC guidelines for resumption of cricket


CHENNAI: The ICC issued 'Back to Cricket Guidelines' on Friday to provide guidance for the safe resumption of cricket from the community to international level. The guidelines have been developed by the ICC's medical advisory committee in consultation with member medical representatives.

Member boards have been asked to use these guidelines to create policies within their own countries. Guidelines say the national board should provide players with clear guidance on safe management of the ball, no handing over of player items like cap, towels, jumpers and sunglasses to the umpire or teammates, preferable use of gloves by umpires when handling the ball and the need for pre-match isolation training camps. Excerpts...

Cricket-specific risks

Citing the ball as a potential transmission medium, the guidelines emphasise on rules which should be applied. According to these, on-field behaviour that involves celebrations with body contact, shared use of drink bottles, towels and equipment can pose a risk and should be strongly discouraged.

Players should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own items. They are instructed against handing over items to umpires or teammates.

Participants, in particular umpires, match referees and support staff may be considered vulnerable individuals at higher risk of severe illness due to Covid-19. This includes older individuals (approx 60+) and people of any age with underlying medical conditions such as cardiac, kidney, diabetes, obesity, weak innate immunity, etc.

Three-step programme

(The ICC has recommended steps for community, domestic and international-level cricket)

Back to training

Back to play

Back to travel

Resumption of international cricket

Back to Training

Consider appointing a chief medical officer and/or bio-safety official responsible for implementing government regulations.

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.

Consider the need for CV-19 testing for all participants.

Develop a process for participants to report CV-19 symptoms and team doctors to monitor health.

Treatment beds in medical rooms should have no bed linen and should be appropriately and thoroughly cleaned before/after every patient.

Back to play

Assess the extent to which the virus is active in:

The community where training and/or match(es) will be conducted and take necessary precautions to minimise risks to participants.

The community(ies) of the competitor(s) and put in place mitigation plans for each team based on the CV-19 risk of their respective communities.

The community’s ability to manage CV-19 cases medically where training and/or match(es) will be conducted.

Appoint on-call doctors for each venue to provide medical cover for match officials and other participants.

Consider necessary specialist and hospital support in case a participant contracts the virus.

Provide players with clear guidance on safe management of the ball. This includes regular hand sanitising when in contact with the ball, not touching eyes, nose, and mouth after making contact with the ball and not applying saliva on the ball.

Players and umpires should maintain social distancing on the 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.

Back to Travel

Check government requirements on resuming international travel and the potential need for self-isolation or quarantine on individual players or teams on entering another country and returning to their country.

Consider chartered flights and seat spacing to ensure social distancing. Consider regular and adequate cleaning, seat spacing, use of PPE and distance (time and space) between the arrival of teams at match venues. For accommodation, consider dedicated hotel floor, single rooms, food quality and hygiene.

International teams should strongly consider travelling with a medical doctor. Travelling teams should ensure necessary arrangements are in place to support team member(s) should they test positive while on tour.