Virat Kohli predicts drastic changes in the game of cricket once it resumes in the post COVID-19 era. The Indian skipper was doing an Instagram live session with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin where he expressed his concerns about the new safety rules which will be implemented when players come back to the field.
“Game changing a lot? Man, I do not know what is going to happen. It is so strange thinking even of practice sessions like instinctively you want to clap/hi-five, but you cannot do that, you will meet people after a long time, and you would have to fold hands and stay away,” Kohli told Ashwin during the interaction.
“I know it sounds strange, it might be a permanent feature until there is some sort of cure or vaccine that comes out, we will need to make that a part of our routine,” he added.
However, Kohli also reckons that people won’t find it hard to acclimatise to the new challenges to players because of the coronavirus.
“We all find it strange, with all things in life, it won’t be that difficult to make a part of our lives.”
On May 22, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had announced the ‘Back to Cricket Guidelines’ for the safe resumption of the sport in which it the apex body of the game mentioned, “Consider appointing a Chief Medical Officer and/or Bio-safety Official who will be responsible for implementing government regulations and the bio-safety plan to resume training and competition.”
Currently the members of the England cricket team, who had returned to training last week, are following these guidelines. Furthermore, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has allocated separate venues for individual player’s training in order to follow the social distancing norms.
There are also other requirements like pre-match isolation training camp with health, temperature checks, and COVID-19 testing at least 14 days prior to travel along with sanitation of personal equipment, before and after use. It is also recommended that 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.
The match-officials are encouraged to use gloves when handling the ball, regular hand sanitising when in contact with the ball, prohibition on the use of saliva and not touching eyes, nose, mouth after contact with the ball are the measures for ‘safe management of the ball’.
ICC mentioned while travelling, consider chartered flights and seat spacing to ensure social distancing.