The International Cricket Council have laid out a proper phased access plan for the resumption of international cricket, which involves having a proper Covid-19 testing plan at disposal. The ICC has also added that a risk assessment of training and match venues must be carried out before the game.
It is a never-seen-before situation in world cricket at the moment with the coronavirus outbreak ensuring a dramatic pause to the sporting world. But a fragile sport like cricket, which is played among few elite countries, can’t afford such a lengthy lay-off considering it is summer in the sub-continent, which is one of the most profit-making places in cricket.
Keeping an eye on the development, the International Cricket Council, after suggestions from ICC Cricket Committee and ICC Medical Committee, have detailed out a plan for the resumption of international cricket, with Coronavirus testing facilities being one of the major precaution measures taken against the spread of the pandemic to the sporting world.
The ICC's guidelines for the resumption of International Cricket are as follows:
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 CV-19 testing
– e.g. at least 14 days prior to travel to ensure the team is CV-19 free.
- Develop an appropriate CV-19 testing plan during training and competition. This will entail:
o Testing plan – frequency and timing of CV-19 tests
o Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) – laboratory based or point of care testing (speed, accuracy, and cost
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
- 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
- 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
- Develop a process for participants to report CV-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 CV-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 CV19 risk of their respective communities.
o The community’s ability to manage CV-19 cases medically where training and/or match(es) will be
- Consider the need for medical resources for a series or event and ensure it does not compromise on public
health CV-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 CV-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
- 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
- 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
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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