MUMBAI, May 23 (Reuters) – Bowlers see continuing cricket testing after locking up the coronavirus novel will require two to three months of preparation to avoid personal injury, said the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Cricket, like other global sports, has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but several countries are planning guidelines for the return of the game when the government begins to reduce lock restrictions.
England players return to individual skills-based training this week with the country hoping to start their delayed cricket summer with a series of tests against the West Indies in July.
Pakistan is scheduled to tour England to play three tests in August followed by Twenty20 International for the same amount, with matches taking place in private as part of measures to combat COVID-19.
“Bowlers are at very high risk of injury when they return to playing after a forced time-out period,” the ICC world governing body said in the back-to-cricket guidelines released Friday night.
The ICC advised the team to use a larger team and be careful of bowler workloads, saying the cricket test would require a minimum preparation of eight to 12 weeks with the last four to five weeks involving bowling match intensity.
A six-week preparation time is recommended for bowlers who return to the shorter 50-over and Twenty20 international matches.
The ICC advises its member councils to consider appointing medical advisors or bio-safety officials to help plan the return of safe training and competition.
Dubai-based ICC this week announced a ban on using saliva to illuminate cricket balls to try and achieve the famous ‘reverse swing’.
Players and referees need to maintain social distance and cricket players must avoid unnecessary body contact and not hand over items such as hats, towels, sunglasses to referees or teammates, ICC said. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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