ICC: Bowlers require minimum 2 months’ preparation to play tests

Australia’s Pat Cummins in action before he takes the wicket of South Africa’s David Miller during a cricket match in Cape Town on Feb. 26. (Reuters)
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Updated 24 May 2020

ICC: Bowlers require minimum 2 months’ preparation to play tests

  • Council advises its boards to consider appointing medical adviser or biosafety official

MUMBAI: Bowlers looking at resuming test cricket after the novel coronavirus lockdown will require two to three months of preparation to avoid injuring themselves, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said.

Cricket, like other global sports, has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but some countries are plotting 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 measures to combat COVID-19.

“Bowlers are at a particularly high risk of injury on return to play after a period of enforced timeout,” the world governing body ICC said in its back-to-cricket guidelines released late on Friday.

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 involving match intensity bowling.

Preparation time of six weeks was recommended for bowlers returning to the shorter 50-over and Twenty20 internationals.

The ICC advised its member boards to consider appointing a medical adviser or biosafety official to help with planning for a safe return to training and competition.

The Dubai-based ICC this week 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.


Jordan joins sports world’s call for change after Floyd death

Updated 01 June 2020

Jordan joins sports world’s call for change after Floyd death

  • I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry. We have had enough: Michael Jordan

LOS ANGELES: NBA legend Michael Jordan decried “ingrained racism” in the US as the sports world’s reaction to the death of unarmed black man George Floyd leapt leagues and continents.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” Jordan said Sunday, as protests over Floyd’s death on May 25 spawned violence and looting across the US. “I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country.

“We have had enough,” added Jordan, who was famously reluctant to comment on social issues during his playing career.

Floyd died after a white policeman in Minneapolis held his knee on the handcuffed man’s neck for several minutes.

“We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability,” Jordan said.

Jordan joined a chorus of voices from the NBA, NFL and other US sports demanding change for black Americans, but the demands went far beyond America.

World champion driver Lewis Hamilton lashed out at “white-dominated” Formula One for failing to speak out against racism.

Hamilton warned “I know who you are and I see you” as the Briton accused his fellow drivers of “staying silent in the midst of injustice” following Floyd’s death.

French footballer Marcus Thuram and England international Jadon Sancho both mounted individual protests calling for justice for Floyd after scoring in Germany’s Bundesliga on Sunday.

Thuram took a knee after his goal for Borussia Moenchengladbach in a match against Union Berlin, while Sancho marked one of his three goals for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn by lifting his jersey to reveal a T-shirt bearing the words “Justice for George Floyd.” 

Thuram’s gesture echoed the protest against US racism spearheaded by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose decision to kneel during the national anthem at games in 2016 sparked outrage.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent an internal memo to the league’s employees saying it shares “the outrage” at the death of Floyd — which comes in the wake of the police killing in Kentucky of emergency health worker Breonna Taylor in her home, and the fatal shooting of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery.

“We are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed,” Silver said in the memo published by Yahoo.

“Racism, police brutality and racial injustice remain part of everyday life in America and cannot be ignored.”

With US pro sports on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, American athletes had no chance to demonstrate on the field of play.

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours to lead a peaceful protest march in Atlanta, Georgia.

“First and foremost, I’m a black man and I’m a member of this community,” the Georgia native said.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, himself the son of a policeman, said that as violence escalated it was imperative to keep Floyd’s death at the forefront.

“The response we are seeing across the nation, to the murder of George Floyd, is decades in the making,” Rivers said in a statement. “Too often, people rush to judge the response, instead of the actions that prompted it.

“We have allowed too many tragedies to pass in vain. This isn’t an African-American issue. This is a human issue,” Rivers said.

US tennis great Serena Williams posted an Instagram video featuring a young African-American girl overcome by emotion as she addressed a public meeting, finally able to force out the words: “We are black people, and we shouldn’t have to feel like this.”

Teenage tennis phenomenon Coco Gauff had a simple question on her Instagram post: “Am I next?”

And two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father Haitian, reminded her social media followers: “Just because it isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening at all.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the violent protests “reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel”.

With Kaepernick still unable to find a job in the NFL, not everyone was convinced by Goodell or by San Francisco 49ers chief executive Jed York, who pledged $1 million to combat systemic racial discrimination.

Former 49er Eric Reid, who knelt alongside Kaepernick, tweeted: “Nobody wants your money Jed. We want justice.”