None of us have been able to watch our favourite player or team play due to this Covid-19 pandemic around the globe. A really tough time for any sports fan.
Recently though, England Cricket Board (ECB) broke this chain by going forward with a test series against the West Indies. The series happened in England, and they went onto win it 2-1 as well. This was a relief for all the cricket fans and it also brought a positive message to the people.
Currently, many countries are still going through this hard patch of COVID-19, and they still have not given the green signal to start any series.
Former Indian star Rahul Dravid had dismissed the idea and said that playing in a bio-secure environment is a “bit unrealistic”.
“It is a bit unrealistic to have things at the level, the ECB is talking about. Obviously, the ECB is very keen to conduct these series because they have had no other cricket, and it is right in the middle of the season. Even if they are potentially able to create a bubble, and manage it in that way, I think it will be impossible for everyone to do it with the kind of calendar that we have, with the traveling that you do on tours, and the number of people involved.” Rahul Dravid during a webinar conducted in May.
Cricket post COVID-19 is a dream for all of us now. Even cricketers are hoping to play this beautiful game just like before. The power-packed crowd, the noise in the stadiums, the celebrations of each wicket, and even emotions in every ball is missed heavily.
The current situation demands many restrictions and precautions which is very difficult but these measures have to be taken for the safety of the people.
When a match is held now, we have to have a bio-secure environment with a safe cricket ground, a secure hotel for the players, the safety of the match officials has to be taken care of, the broadcasters and other staff will have to follow the guidelines.
Moreover, the players and staff will have to leave a few weeks earlier before a series to complete the quarantine period. Cricketers already have a tight schedule, and this will make it much harder. The ICC has also advised the boards to use chartered flights, and that too with social distancing. The expenses for the boards are now quite big and the income has come down drastically.
After the COVID-19 situation, many changes will occur and the current temporary rules will also be changed.
Some of the new rules included during a match are a replacement for any player with COVID-19 symptoms, both the players, and umpires should maintain social distancing on the cricket field which will include no handing over of any player items (such as cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers) to the umpire or teammates. This will help in adopting a new process that will make the bowler fit in managing his items. The umpires are also encouraged to use safety equipment, and gloves also while using the ball. The players will be given special guidance on how to handle the cricket ball and will have to sanitize whenever they are in contact with the ball.
Another big decision that came up was that no saliva is to be used during the match, which is not something the bowlers were fancied to hear.
“We don’t want to lose that or make it less even, so there needs to be something in place to keep that ball swinging, otherwise people aren’t going to be watching it and kids aren’t going to want to be bowlers. In Australia, in the last couple of years, we’ve had some pretty flat wickets, and if that ball’s going straight it’s a pretty boring contest” Mitchell Starc during an online press conference.
“It’s an unusual time for the world and if they’re going to remove saliva shining for a portion of time, they need to think of something else for that portion of time as well” he added.
Cricket post COVID-19 will be completely different from the current scenario and surely a better one for all.