The ICC on Friday (May 22) issued multiple guidelines for cricket's safe resumption in its member countries in the near future. Those, including the appointment of chief medical officers, 14-day pre-match isolation training camp and use of gloves by umpires while handling the ball.
With the travelling restrictions, imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning to ease, member nations want training to resume and on-field play to be soon restarted in bio-secure venues, without crowds allowed to turn up.
That is why the ICC found it fit to issue some strict guidelines for the safety of players and all else who will be involved in conducting these training sessions and games.
"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," reads one of the guidelines made public by the ICC.
"Consider the need for a pre-match isolation training camp with health, temperature checks and CV-19 testing - eg at least 14 days prior to travel to ensure the team is CV-19 free."
The governing body has also asked authorities to put in place proper COVID-19 testing arrangements, to be used during practice and match situation.
There is no certainty over when cricket could possibly resume, but this framework, including practical suggestions, shall help the member boards to formulate their own policies, especially as they work in tandem with their respective governments to try and bring things back to normal.
Recommendations to maintain a 1.5m distance (or as directed by the respective governments) between players at all times and sanitisation of all personal equipment have also been made.
For bowlers, specifically, the ICC has issued specific guidelines considering their workload and risk of injuries. Member boards have been asked to have larger squads.
"Bowlers are at a particularly high risk of injury on return to play after a period of enforced time-out," reads the guidelines document.
"When looking at timescales, consideration needs to be given to the age and physical preparedness as this will influence the risk and length of time required to develop appropriate bowling loads that will allow a safe and effective return to international cricket."
Format-specific training periods for bowlers has been suggested. They'll be allowed a minimum of five to six weeks of training, with the last three weeks involving bowling at match intensity, in order to facilitate their return to T20Is. In ODIs, the period has been set at six weeks.
For Test cricket, a preparation time of up to two-three months, with the last four-five weeks involving bowling at full intensity, has been recommended.
(Inputs from PTI)