Kumar Sangakkara, former Sri Lankan captain and current president of the Marylebone Cricket Club [MCC], has expressed his reservations against the newly-laid playing conditions by the International Cricket Council [ICC] for the safe resumption of cricket in the post COVID world.
The former Sri Lankan champion batsman recently participated in Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’ where he said that it will look ‘really weird’ and ‘off-putting’ to see players playing the game under such strict guidelines.
The ICC recently came up with comprehensive guidelines which include a ban on the usage of saliva, the appointment of a chief medical officer, a 14-day pre-isolation camp, and the use of gloves by umpires while handling the ball.
Sangakkara, however, admitted that considering the current coronavirus situation, there is no other option.
“I understand the guidelines are going to restrict players, playing of the game, it’s going to look really weird, and off-putting even for me when I think about it. But the priority is health and safety. Health is absolutely paramount at this time, especially for players to have the confidence to get back to cricket, to get back to playing, to have grounds may be at some point open to the spectator,” Kumar Sangakkara said on ‘Cricket Connected’
“Players also have the responsibility”- Kumar Sangakkara on rules laid down by the ICC
Sangakkara further added that it is not only the responsibility of the ICC but also of the players in ensuring all the safety protocols laid down by the government and the apex cricketing body are adhered to, if they are to ensure that cricket gets up and running in times such as these.
“It’s got to be a partnership because when you are under contract, your employer is responsible for creating a safe environment and educating the players and insisting that the environment that they come to work in is very safe,” Kumar Sangakkara reckoned
“Players also have the responsibility in turn to understand what the government guidelines are. It’s not just about you and I, it’s also about how we spread it to other people ‘loved ones, the elderly in society’ so you got to really be mindful of that,” he added.
Sangakkara further reckoned that it is important for one and all to understand the importance of these rules for the safety of everyone involved with the game.
“If that environment of safety and health is not there, then the doubts keep coming back, ‘Should we start, should be go back to playing?’ So, we have to be really careful there, and understand that all these new rules are to try and make it as safe as possible even though it seems very, very detailed and extensive,” Sangakkara said.