Sri Lankan batting great Kumara Sangakkara said cricket is a social game and it will be interesting to see how players cope with the new ICC guidelines when cricket resumes after the COVID-19 hiatus.
With government restrictions owing to the health crisis easing, the ICC has come out with guidelines for the safe resumption of the sport which was shutdown in March due to the outbreak of the contagious disease.
Keeping “social distancing” norms on and off the field and ‘safe’ ball management are among the dos and don’ts listed by the ICC late last month. The ICC Cricket Committee also recommended a ban on saliva to shine the ball.
“For fast bowlers or spinners, shining the ball, is an instinctive thing, they have done it over so many years since they were kids,” Sangakkara, who is the President of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
“Cricket is a social game, most of the time you spend in the dressing room you talk, you chat. This will be a very clinical thing, you come ready to play, no warmups, you do everything right and you go home. So, it will be interesting to see how the players deal with that.”
Cricketers from several top teams, including England, Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka have already begun outdoor training under strict safety protocols as the sport is taking early steps towards resumption.
English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced its schedule for a proposed three-match test series at home against West Indies starting July 8, which is likely to be the first series to happen after the coronavirus hiatus.