The novel coronavirus pandemic has affected the majority of countries across the globe. As everyone knows that the virus is highly contagious and can spread with a mere touch, the health authorities are instructing people to follow precautionary measures and practice social distancing. The pandemic has affected the sports fraternity as well, many major sporting events have either been called-off or postponed amid the virus scare.
In the cricketing world, there is speculation that the use of saliva to shine the ball will be scraped out due to the risk of the highly contagious infection. The reports also state that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering the possibility of allowing the use of artificial substances to polish the red ball under the strict supervision of the on-field umpires.
According to the sources, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in consultation with medical experts, sports bodies, and federal as well as state government have come up with guidelines that restrict the use of saliva and sweat to shine the ball.
The framework issued outlines three stages of ‘return to play’ – Level A, Level B, and Level C. Currently, the restrictions on sports area is under Level A, which restricts all training except that of the individual kind.
Meanwhile, it is speculated that the restrictions will be shifted to Level B in the coming few weeks. The Level B allows ‘Net- batters facing bowlers. Limit bowlers per net. Fielding sessions — unrestricted. No warm-up drills involving unnecessary person-person contact. No shining cricket ball with sweat/saliva during training.’
Level C will be imposed later this year and it allows, “Full training and competition. No ball shining with sweat/saliva in training.”
The framework also includes guidance for Elite Sports training and disease management.
It says, “Individuals should not return to sport if in the last 14 days they have been unwell or had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19. Any individual with respiratory symptoms (even if mild) should be considered a potential case and must immediately self-isolate, have COVID-19 excluded, and be medically cleared by a doctor to return to the training environment. Athletes returning to the sport after COVID-19 infection require special consideration prior to the resumption of high-intensity physical activity.”