ICC focuses on umpires, senior officials & elderly support staff’s health in SOP for resumption – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has laid strong emphasis on umpires and match officials in its guidelines for the resumption of cricket, keeping in mind the threats posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. ICC‘s medical committee has listed the match officials, support staff and individuals above the age of 60 at the ground as specific risks.

“Cricket is officiated by umpires on the field of play and their health and well-being needs to be taken into full consideration as they spend the greatest amount of time in close proximity to players,” the guidelines read. “Participants, in particular umpires, match referees and support staff may be considered vulnerable individuals that are at higher risk of severe illness due to CV-19. This includes older individuals (approx. 60+) and people of any age with underlying medical conditions such as cardiac, kidney, diabetes, obesity, weak innate immunity, etc,” it added.

Therefore, it has been suggested that players will not be sharing anything they touch with the umpires during play. “Players and umpires should maintain social distancing on the field of play and that includes no handing over of player items (cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers) to the umpire or teammates. ) Umpires may also be encouraged to use gloves when handling the ball.Consider adopting a process that will assist the bowler in managing his/her items,” the ICC document stated.

Considering most of the head coaches and umpires are well above 50 years of age, it will be interesting to see how much the member boards decide to expose them. It also holds for commentators who are above 60. They may have to clear all medical tests and deemed fit to travel with the teams and be present at the venues.

Other important points

* 14-day isolation training camps before travel for a series: This regulation is going to disrupt the Future Tours Programme which is loaded with back-to-back series.

* Consider appointing a Chief Medical Officer and/or Biosafety Official who will be responsible for implementing government regulations and the biosafety plan to resume training and competition.

* Have adequate Covid-19-specific healthcare facilities ready at the venue and in close proximity.

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