Cricket Australia will begin pre-season at the end of this month under new protocol amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. Players will not be allowed to use sweat or saliva to shine the ball according to the new rules by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
With all the protocols at place, Cricket Australia head of sports science and sports medicine Alex Kountouris, does not believes it will effect the training much. He said a bowler and a batsman will stay 22 yards away from each other, which makes the training safe.
Cricket Australia will not have problems to manage training
Kountouris asserted social distancing will be strictly maintained at all times in training and the board will not have a problem to manage it. He highlighted the only difference will be sweat or saliva not being used in the game.
“There’s physical distancing in the nets – there’s two or three bowlers in each net. One bowls at a time, the batter is 22 yards away so it’s not a big problem,” Kountouris was quoted as saying by smh.com.au.
“We don’t see it as too big a problem to manage, but these are the things we’re spelling out,. This is what you should do: keep your distance, how you should handle the ball, these are things easy to manage.”
Cricket is a non-contact sport but apart from the much in talk ‘sweat and saliva’ measure it might also say some change in on-field habits, including players celebration.
“You might not see high-fiving after a wicket or people ruffling someone else’s hair,” Kountouris said.
“It will be a spaced huddle. It will be the new norm. That’s one of those things, the physical distancing for the time being, that will definitely be out until a vaccine or some sort of solution like that [comes up].
“I think we’ll have to find a different way to celebrate, they’ll have to be innovative,” he added.
Kountouris reportedly believes some of the bigger challenges will occur behind the scene as pre-packaged food packets will replace the buffet or open platters.