ECB mandates one box of balls each, marked water bottles as players set to resume training

Players will be forbidden from using saliva on the ball.

England players will resume practice shortly | GettyThe England cricketers are due to resume their training shortly after two months of lay off due to Coronavirus pandemic. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has mandated a few changes to the process of training and nets keeping the distancing in few due to the virus.

England players will be handed a box of balls each only for their individual use and they can’t apply saliva on them when they begin training next week ahead of the scheduled Test series against West Indies and Pakistan.

The ECB had announced a pool of 30 cricketers who will be prepped ahead of the planned start of international cricket.

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We should be able to get control of the environment so it’s safer to go back to practice than it is to go to the supermarket. I’m not making light of this but there are risks every time you go outside the house,” Ashley Giles, ECB director of cricket, said to the Guardian.

A “one skin per ball” policy will be implemented for the sessions at 11 county grounds where players will train at different times to ensure social distancing.

We need to mitigate as many of the risks as we possibly can. At one venue guys may train individually but with the same coach – a single coach for four or five bowlers. But with social distancing, they shouldn’t be close enough to pass anything on. It’s essential we stick to these guidelines,” said Giles.

No more use of saliva on the ballBowlers will be having one-on-one sessions with coaches from Wednesday and the batsmen will enter the nets two weeks later.

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Players have been told to travel by car, bring their own clearly marked water bottles, regularly sanitize hands, and make a swift departure afterward before showering at home,” the newspaper stated.

The players will also undergo regular temperature checks under the supervision of the coach and the physio, who will be the only one in the PPE kits.

When the batsmen resume net sessions, they must not pick the ball up and pass it back to the coach, instead, they will kick it or use the bat to hit it back. “We hope we don’t take another dip, which would put all of us back. (But) If we continue on this trajectory hopefully we will have the right conditions to play some Test cricket,” Giles said.

(PTI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 15 May, 2020

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