Melbourne: In Australia, the use of saliva or sweat to shine the ball will be restricted once cricket training returns in the post coronavirus world. The federal government in Australia has released a framework regarding the staged return of sports amid the pandemic under the title “The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Framework for rebooting sport in a COVID-19 environment” available on the official government website.
AIS, in consultation with medical experts, sporting bodies and federal and state governments, has come up with guidelines wherein they have restricted the use of saliva and sweat to shine the ball.
The framework, which outlines a staged return to play, has three stages — Level A, Level B and Level C. Currently, sports is outlined as being at “Level A”, which restricts all training except that of the individual kind. “Running/aerobic training (solo), resistance training (solo), skills training (solo).”
However, in probably a week’s time, it will move to “Level B” which will allow the following: “Nets — 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.”
The third and final “Level C”, to be permitted later in the year, is outlined as: “Full training and competition. No ball shining with sweat/saliva in training.”
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia also welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement regarding national principles for the recommencement of community and professional sport, as agreed by the national cabinet.
“As and when restrictions are lifted, CA will seek advice from medical experts including our own Chief Medical Officer, John Orchard, and relevant government agencies to support the cricket community with protocols and guidelines that allow community cricket to recommence as early and as safely as possible,” CA said in a statement.
“Cricket Australia will continue to work with the government to prepare a comprehensive biosecurity plan to ensure we are as prepared as possible to deliver elite cricket content on Australian soil, including an exciting summer of cricket highlighted by the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 and the Border-Gavaskar Test series between Australia and India,” it added.
In the framework, there are also guidelines for training and management of illness in elite sports.
“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.
“Athletes returning to the sport after COVID-19 infection require special consideration prior to the resumption of high-intensity physical activity.
“Resumption of sporting activity may not be linear. Increasing restrictions may be required in response to fluctuating numbers of COVID-19 cases.”
The government has said that the AIS framework is a “timely tool” for ‘how’ reintroduction of sports activity will occur in a cautious and methodical manner, to optimise athlete and community safety.