It goes without saying that the recent global health crisis has impacted nearly every citizen of the world. Some industries have also been hit harder than others. The sports sector is a perfect example and at one time, cricket matches had not choice but to grind to a halt. Even while the COVID-19 pandemic is still taking its toll, governments and sports organisations are looking beyond the horizon in order to determine how the game can adapt to any new health measures that may need to be put into place.
This brings up an important point. How will the world of cricket adapt to this so-called “new normal” and what rules might be put into place? Let’s take a quick look at what some of the top analysts have had to say.
Will Players be Required to Wear Masks at All Times?
In terms of the current crisis, there is perhaps no better visual reference than the ever-pervasive face mask. We have already seen many sports professionals donning this form of protection and cricket is certainly no different. The main question is whether or not these very same masks will be required during the 2021 season. All sources seem to indicate that some type of face covering will be needed; particularly in regards to matches played within enclosed environments. Still, the rules have yet to be written. This will also depend upon the prevalence of the virus in the coming months.
The Presence of Sweat and Saliva
One of the most well-known cricket traditions is to place a small amount of sweat or saliva on the ball before it is thrown. This action is said to help the bowler control the spin of the ball so that it can be more easily manipulated (similar to a “spit ball” in baseball). Unsurprisingly, this practice will likely be banned throughout the entire sector. Organisations such as the IPL have already put prohibitions in place and other governing bodies are likely to follow.
What About the Fans?
While playing a few rounds of online blackjack certainly poses no health risks to the local community, the same cannot be said for those who choose to attend a cricket match once the current restrictions begin to be lifted. This is why it only stands to reason that a number of social distancing measures will remain in place; particularly regarding the size of the venue in relation to the attendees. However, we also need to mention that watching live cricket matches via online streaming portals has gained a significant amount of popularity. So, there are always alternatives for those die-hard fans who wish to keep abreast of the latest news.
While it might not feel like it at the moment, there is no doubt that this current health crisis will pass. This is why adopting prudent measures at an early stage is the best way to ensure that life and cricket are able to enjoy a return to normalcy in 2021 and beyond.