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COVID-19: Strange to have no hi-fives, handshakes: Virat Kohli

Gulf News 2020-05-31 14:04:09

Dubai: India skipper Virat Kohli felt the cricketers should be able to acclimatise themselves to the challenges that the new norms throw at them once cricket resumes in the times of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We all find it strange(the changes), with all things in life, it won’t be that difficult to make a part of our lives,” Kohli said during an Instagram live session with spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin.

Asked whether he sees the game changing a lot when it resumes. Kohli was somewhat reflective: “Game changing a lot? Man I do not know what is going to happen, it is so strange thinking even of practice sessions like instinctively you want to clap/hi-five, but you cannot do that, you will meet people after a long time, and you would have to fold hands and stay away.”

“I know it sounds strange, it might be a permanent feature until there is some sort of cure or vaccine that comes out, we will need to make that a part of our routine,” he told teammate Ashwin.

On May 22, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had announced the ‘Back to Cricket Guidelines’ for the safe resumption of the sport.

To resume training for the international cricket the ICC has said, “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.”

The need for a pre-match isolation training camp with health, temperature checks, and COVID-19 testing at least 14 days prior to travel to ensure the team is coronavirus free is also mentioned.

Sanitisation of personal equipment, before and after use, and practice of social distancing is also part of the guidelines. Players and umpires should maintain social distancing on the cricket field and that includes no handing over of player items (cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers) to the umpire or teammates. Consider adopting a process that will assist the bowler in managing his/her items. Umpires may also be encouraged to use gloves when handling the ball.

Regular hand sanitising when in contact with the ball, prohibition on the use of saliva and not touching eyes, nose, mouth after contact with the ball are the measures for ‘safe management of the ball’.

ICC mentioned while travelling - consider chartered flights and seat spacing to ensure social distancing. All international cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus.

However, England and West Indies are looking to play a three-match Test series in July-August this year in a ‘bio-secure’ environment.