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Training, Playing and Travelling: ICC's Guidelines for Resumption of International and Domestic Cricket

News18 logo News18 22-05-2020 Cricketnext Staff
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The ICC and the cricket fraternity breathed a sigh of relief after the governing body finalised on a new set of guidelines to combat and stave off the coronavirus pandemic, signaling the beginning of the resumption of cricket.

Earlier in the week, England’s bowlers did individual training sessions at various grounds across the country.

The restart of cricket requires planning to assess and manage the risk of coronavirus infection. All members should follow their government’s restrictions and advice, specifically those related to gatherings, travel, social distancing, and sporting competition for a safe return to cricket.

The ICC have divided the resumption of cricket guidelines into three categories – international cricket, professional domestic cricket and community cricket

FOR THE RESUMPTION OF INTERNATIONAL CRICKET

Back to Training

- 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.

- Consider the need for a pre-match isolation training camp with health, temperature checks and Covid-19 testing – e.g. at least 14 days prior to travel to ensure the team is Covid-19 free.

- Develop an appropriate Covid-19 testing plan during training and competition. This will entail:

o Testing plan – frequency and timing of Covid-19 tests

o Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) – laboratory based or point of care testing (speed, accuracy, and cost considerations)

o Optional serology testing

o Private vs government laboratory (speed and cost)

o Medical support – requirement of infectious disease doctors and nurses for sample collection and results management.

- A risk assessment of training and match venues must be carried out to ensure precautions are taken to minimize risks and provide a safe workplace for those participating in cricket. This should include:

o The protocol and frequency of cleaning shared facilities

o Availability of hand sanitizers in prominent places (entry/exit and high traffic areas) around training and match venues.

- 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 (or as indicated in government guidelines in your country).

- Consider the age and health of participants and recommend against high-risk individuals participating in training or competition.

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

- Personal equipment should be sanitised before and after use (training and competition).

- Equipment sharing should be avoided where possible and if sharing is required (such as in the gymnasium) strict hygiene and sanitising protocols should be followed.

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

- All participants should adopt a ‘ready to train’ approach where possible i.e. come to training prepared without the need to use any communal facilities such as changing rooms or showering facilities.

- It is important that players are given adequate timescales to build to the required intensity. The three international formats all have differing physical requirements. An adequate level of physical preparedness is required to underpin the return to international cricket.

Back to Play

- Assess the extent to which the Covid-19 virus is active in:

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

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

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

- Consider the need for medical resources for a series or event and ensure it does not compromise on public health Covid-19 efforts.

- 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 Covid-19.

- 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

o Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth after making contact with the ball

o 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.

- Consider using adjoining appropriate areas as additional changing room facilities to allow for social distancing. Minimise time spent in the changing room before and after a match.

- Consider a strategy to deal with potential mental health issues.

- If spectators are permitted, consider restrictions and additional safety measures that will need to be implemented.

- Consider a strategy in case of increased levels of staff/volunteer absences.

- Develop a strategy to enable players who require medical care/treatment outside of the bio-safety environment (e.g. hospitals) to be able to access the same without compromising the safety of the environment. This may include:

o Travel in a sanitised vehicle to and from the bio-safety bubble.

o Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the player and support staff accompanying the player

o Hosts to facilitate speedy consultations and tests to minimise waiting time in hospitals or clinics.

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.

- Travel – consider chartered flights and seat spacing to ensure social distancing.

- Transport – consider regular and adequate cleaning, seat spacing, use of PPE and distance (time and space) between the arrival of teams at match venues.

- 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 a team member should they test positive while on tour.

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FOR THE RESUMPTION OF DOMESTIC CRICKET

Back to Training

- Health and temperature checks should be monitored for all participants and Covid-19 testing should be considered where possible at training and competition venues.

- Consider engaging a Medical Advisor and/or Biosafety Official to assist with planning for a safe return to training and competition.

- The ICC recommends a phased approach to resuming training activity (in compliance with government restrictions). The load and intensity of training over the stages should be progressive to prevent injury. A recommended approach on the phased back to training activity is outlined in Appendix 1.

- Progression to the next stage should not begin until it is deemed safe to do so and there is no evidence that the local Covid-19 transmission rate has risen because of this training activity.

- A risk assessment of training and match venues must be carried out to ensure precautions are taken to minimize risks and provide a safe workplace to those participating in cricket. This should include:

o The protocol and frequency of cleaning shared facilities

o Availability of hand sanitizers in prominent places (entry/exit and high traffic areas) around training and match venues.

- Personal equipment should be sanitised before and after use (training and competition).

- Equipment sharing should be avoided where possible and if sharing is required (resistance bands, balls, bats, ball throwers etc.) strict hygiene and sanitising protocols should be followed.

- All participants should adopt a ‘ready to train’ approach, i.e. come to training prepared without the need to use any communal facilities such as changing rooms or showering facilities.

- Consider the age and health of participants and discourage any high-risk individuals from participating in training or competition.

Back to Play

- Review domestic playing conditions to minimise risks associated with playing during this Covid-19 period.

- Consider rule amendments to allow for the safe management of the ball –

o Regular hand sanitising when in contact with the ball

o Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth after making contact with the ball

o Saliva should not be used on the ball

o Umpires to consider wearing gloves when handling the ball.

- Players and umpires should maintain social distancing on the field of play 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.

- Players should also avoid any unnecessary body contact on the field of play.

- Off-field – All participants should minimise the use of communal facilities (changing rooms and shower facilities) before and after play. Players should be encouraged to shower at home. Social distancing to be maintained and doors left open where possible to avoid contact with door handles.

- In case spectators are permitted, consider restrictions and additional safety measures that will need to be implemented.

- A comprehensive effort should be made by every participating team to ensure that their team is CV-19 free.

Back to Travel

- Implement the necessary measures to ensure safe travel and accommodation. Consider the following potential requirements:

o Where possible, participants should travel alone

o Social distancing on shared transport (e.g. team bus of ample size to allow for social distancing to be followed)

o Regular and adequate cleaning of transport

o Avoid sharing of rooms until it is safe to do so.

- Where using public transport to travel, players should avoid travelling at ‘peak’ transport times to limit contact with others.

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