International cricket is set to resume in two weeks. As we pen this, the Windies cricket team is already out of quarantine and are playing a warm-up leading to the first International test series post covid-19 lockdown, after a gap of three months. The hosts England will face Windies in three-match Tests series in as many weeks, behind-closed-doors series with first test to start on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl in Old Trafford.
After the coronavirus pandemic that has decimated every fantasy cricket calendar, England looks like the team who is likely to get most cricketingaction on return as they are slated to face Australia, Pakistan and Ireland.
So, what has changed and what to expect? From biosecurity to medical screening-testing provisions, enable social distancing and new ICC laws keeping in mind covid-19 situation.
Getting used to ‘no saliva’ will take time
It may take players so time to get use to ‘no saliva’. With scoreboard, penalty runs column could keep ticking. “Players will not be permitted to use saliva to shine the ball. If a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment for the players, but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning. Repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side” the ICC has said.
“Teams will be allowed to replace players displaying symptoms of Covid-19 during a Test match. In line with concussion replacements, the Match Referee will approve the nearest like-for-like replacement,” saidthe ICC release on substitutions
Get ready to see more substitutes on cricket field, and changes in dream 11 fantasy cricket.A substitution can create a sense of panic in the two camps. After a substitution, there will be concerns of health, well-being and safety.
Local umpires, match officials may affect course or outcome of the game
We have to go back to home umpires and match officials after two decades owing to logistic issues. It can have some impact on the game with most elite umpires not available. “The requirement to appoint neutral match officials will be temporarily removed from the playing conditions for all international formats owing to the current logistical challenges with international travel.The ICC will be able to appoint locally based match officials from the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Officials and the Emirates ICC International Panel of Match Officials,” the ICC said.
These are only foreseeable factors while there are also many things that will be known after the series resumes in two weeks’ time. On one hand, fans will be happy to their heroes back in action but at the same time they will be anxious for how the action will unfold, match prediction and new-look of their favourite game.