Test bowlers will require atleast 2 months for preparing themselves prior lockdown: ICC

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After the novel coronavirus lockdown, bowlers who primarily look at test cricket will require two to three months of preparation to avoid injuring themselves, says the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Like every other global sport, cricket has also been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the government has started easing restrictions some countries are plotting guidelines for the return of the game.

Players of England returned to skill-based training this week with a hope to begin their delayed summer of cricket with a Test series against West Indies in July.

Pakistan was scheduled to tour England to play three tests in August, followed by an equal no. Of twenty20 internationals, as a part of measures to combat COVID-19, these matches are taking place behind the doors.

The World governing body (ICC) said in its back-to-cricket guidelines released late on Friday, “Bowlers are at particularly high risk of injury on return to play after a period of enforced time-out.”

The ICC said test cricket would require a minimum of eight to twelve weeks of preparation with the final four-five weeks involving match intensity bowling, by advising the teams to use larger squads and exercise caution over bowlers’.

It also advised its member boards to adopt a medical advisor or biosafety official to help with the planning of a safe return to training and competition.

Six weeks time has been recommended for preparation of bowlers returning to shorter formats like 50-over and twenty20 Internationals.

Using saliva to shine a cricket ball to try and achieve the fabled ‘reverse swing’ has been banned by the Dubai – based ICC this week.

The ICC said players and umpires would need to maintain social distancing and cricketers must avoid unnecessary contact and not handover items like cap, towel, sunglasses to umpires, or teammates.

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