There has been no international or domestic cricket played throughout the world since March 15, 2020. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is eager to get things up and running again; but are also being careful so as to not rush things.
ICC Releases New List Of Rules
The ICC has been working behind the scenes to come out with a new set of guidelines and rules to protect both the players and the fans. The current consensus is that whenever cricket resumes it will be in empty stadiums. This will be the case until it is considered safe for fans.
But here are the ones that have caused some confusion with players.
The ICC does not want teams to rush bowlers back into cricket; they will be prone to injury after being out of play for such a long period. The ICC guidelines suggest that bowlers need 8 to 12 weeks of preparation before they can play test cricket; 5 to 6 weeks before they play T20 cricket and 6 weeks before they can start playing ODI cricket.
This means if cricket starts at the end of June, Tests will only start in September or October. England is the first major Test playing nation to resume training; they will be working with a bigger squad going forward. This is because the ICC has asked member nations to travel with extra net bowlers and reserves. They might be called upon if the front-line bowlers suffer an injury.
There is not a lot of confusion on bowling being slowly reintroduced to cricket; no bowler wants to suffer a serious injury after being rushed back. The only point of contention is whether they really need 8 to 12 weeks to get back into Test cricket mode and 5 weeks for T20 mode.
The ICC wants players to keep a 12 feet distance from each other and not just 6 feet. This rule has caused concerns for a lot of players. Premier Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan raised some of these concerns and questions.
Shakib wants to know how they will be able to play cricket as usual with the 12 feet distance rule.
- Will the wicket-keeper be able to stand up to the stumps when a spinner is bowling?
- Will batsmen be able to walk down the pitch and have a discussion mid-over or after overs?
- And how will slip fielders be able to stand together in the slip cordon?
These questions are valid and the ICC has so far no addressed any of them in their guidelines. The bigger question is also whether the players will be able to fully implement these guidelines 100% of the time.
Are The New ICC Rules Feasible?
While the ICC has cricket, the players and fans best interests in mind, are these new rules really feasible. In a high pressured game, the captain will often have to call on his vice-captain and go and have a word in his bowler’s ear. While the rules say distance must be maintained, players and captains can forget the rules or break the rules due to the pressure of the moment.
The ICC has also stated that bowlers can no longer use their saliva to shine the ball, a practice that has been in place for decades. While the rule does make common sense, there is no solution as to how the bowlers are going to maintain the shine on the ball.
The ICC will need to brainstorm in the coming days and either release solutions or amended guidelines that are more feasible to follow!