Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 May 2020

ICC says bowlers need two to three months to be ready for Test cricket resumption

Governing body says bowlers at greater risk of injury due to enforced time-out

The ICC says bowlers need a lot of time to be ready for the workload of Test cricket. Getty
The ICC says bowlers need a lot of time to be ready for the workload of Test cricket. Getty

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said that bowlers will need at least two to three months of preparation before resuming Test cricket due to the prolonged time away from the game.

Cricket, like other global sports, has been suspended since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic but some countries are forming guidelines for the return of the game as governments start easing lockdown restrictions.

England players returned to individual skill-based training this week with the country hoping to begin their delayed summer of cricket with a Test series against West Indies in July.

Pakistan are scheduled to tour England to play three Tests in August followed by an equal number of Twenty20 Internationals, with the matches taking place behind closed doors as part of strict health measures.

"Bowlers are at a particularly high risk of injury on return to play after a period of enforced time-out," the world governing body said in its back-to-cricket guidelines.

The ICC advised teams to use larger squads and exercise caution over bowlers' workloads, saying Test cricket would require a minimum of eight to 12 week preparation with the final four-five weeks requiring match intensity bowling.

Preparation time of six weeks was recommended for bowlers returning to the shorter 50-over and T20Is.

The ICC advised its member boards to consider appointing a medical advisor or bio-safety official to help with planning for a safe return to training and competition.

Earlier, the ICC announced a ban on using saliva to shine a cricket ball to try and achieve the fabled 'reverse swing'.

Players and umpires would need to maintain social distancing and cricketers must avoid unnecessary body contact and not hand over items like cap, towels, sunglasses to umpires or team mates, the ICC said.


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