Cricket Post Covid19 – Part I

There will be a new look to all the world activities post Covid-19 and cricket will also be no exception to the same, for sure. The first ever cricketing activity post lockdown between England and West Indies is already underway within a “bio-secure bubble” referring to a biosphere for all the players and support staff to keep them isolated from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Only a limited number of people can access these areas, including the players, who will be put up at hotels on site. All of them will be regularly tested.  Media movement will also be restricted, with a diminished headcount than usual. Maintaining social distance, daily temperature checks, and filing daily health reports are part of the new norms.

There will be plenty of changes in cricketing rules which the International Cricket Council (ICC) is evaluating and some have already got implemented. Though you all might be aware of the changes but still let us recapitulate the immediate changes which have already found place in the rule book, may be for the time being:

  • No use of saliva on the ball. A cricketer can be banned for using saliva on the ball. After two warnings, for every additional mistake the fielding side will be penalised and have to give away five penalty runs to the batting side.
  • Replacement of players showing Covid-19 symptoms, with like for like players, will be allowed by the match referee. This will be applicable to test match cricket only and not to ODIs and T20Is.
  • Non-neutral or local umpires will be conducting the matches due to non-availability of neutral umpires, in view of the ongoing pandemic.
  • Instead of one DRS review teams will now get two reviews in all the formats of the game considering the fact that there may be less experienced umpires at times.
  • For the next twelve months a logo, not exceeding 32 square inches in size, may be placed on the chest of the Test match shirt and sweater in addition to the three other logos allowed as per regulations. As of now, logos on chests are only allowed in ODIs and T20Is, as per ICC.

Though these preliminary measures have enabled cricket to come out of the ventilators but there are many other related aspects which needs to be analysed and actioned upon by ICC as well as the Cricket Boards of the respective cricket playing nations, in order to bring back the retheme and charm to this popular sporting event.

I will be discussing some of those related aspects with you, which are best to my knowledge, in my next post. Thanks for your patience in reading this blog of mine. Please point out any other changes in the playing rules which I might have forgot to mention, due oversight.

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