The Cricket or the Pandemic: Who Won This Game of Wickets?

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Put finger on your head or the palm supporting your chin.

Now, can you guess and name the exceptional aspect, the one which is still untouched by the CORONA pandemic?

If you can, comment down and let the world know your discovery. But talking in general, it seems to be a next to impossible task.

The cricket world with no exception left upended by the pandemic.

Let’s get into what happened during this extraordinary year!

The Cricket or the Pandemic Who Won This Game of Wickets

Delayed Schedule:

The International Cricket Council (ICC) made an announcement on 24 March 2020 that events planned to be completed before June have to be delayed.

The events shifted include:

  1. ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 has been postponed till November 2021.
  2. The 2023 Cricket World Cup to take place eight months later than planned.
  3. Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 has been postponed till 2022.
  4. The Namibia Tri-nation series has also been postponed.
  5. The Bangladesh Cricket board canceled the hosting of the Bangladesh Premier League this year.
  6. The 13th season of the Indian Premier League to take place from 19 September 2020 to 10 November 2020. With the opening match that was played between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Superkings in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  7. The Scotland Tri-series got delayed.

New rules for the ‘new normal’:

The International Cricket Council revised the set of rules and modified them along with the introduction of some new rules and revised guidelines.

The step was indeed a necessity to conduct the cricket tournaments smoothly during the prevailing COVID 19 infection.

Some rules introduced by the ICC include:

  1. Replacement of the players: the teams will be allowed to replace a like- for- like a player, if any player tests positive for the COVID infection.

The referee will be the final decision maker to select the substitute.

  1. Saliva on the Ball: a big NO!

If you are a cricket enthusiast, you must be familiar with this saliva or sweat application to the ball. Right?

The ball-tampering, practiced by the bowlers, has a complete scientific justification supporting it.

The sweat or the saliva makes the ball to shine and is done on one side of the ball. So that one side is shinier than the other, which in turn allows the ball to swing in the air at the dull side.

This is because the air passes through the smooth side faster as compared to the roughened side, creating a pressure difference between the two sides.

This time ICC has banned the application of saliva on balls. The team will be subjected to penalties in the form of a warning if found guilty. However, the same thing will be dealt with leniency in the initial phase but with strictness in progressive days of tournament.

  1. The concept of ‘Non-Neutral’ Umpires: Considering the complications of international travel, ICC has decided to appoint local officials for matches.
  2. Additional Decision Reviews, DRS: with various factors that blanket the situations like, inexperienced officials, ICC has decided to allot more DRS to the team.

The team will be able to make an increased number of appeals per innings that counts as 2 for white-ball format and 3 for tests.

There will be an elite panel of match referees available on video calls for their reviews.

  1. Relaxation on apparel logos: With the total number of logos allowed increased to 4, the ICC has allowed placing a logo on a match t-shirt.

The logo should be less than or equal to the size of 32 square inches in the chest region of the match t-shirt.

  1. No ‘high-fives’: The high-fives will be banned for this new era of post corona cricket. A step to avoid contact and maintain social distancing.

What about International tours of teams?

How can we proceed without talking about travel in cricket?

That’s an inseparable pair, right?

So, the players and the officials will be doing international tours with utmost precautions followed by at least 14 days of quarantine.

However, the restrictions are applicable on umpires and there will be an appointment of native umpires for the match. Along with an online panel of neutral umpires to avoid bias.

Conclusion:

The whole world is on the verge of hitting back the old life and routine after surviving the lockdown. Though spending months in safe bio spaces, the homes, people have gone through a lot in terms of physical, emotional, and mental health.

The condition goes the same for our sports athletes.

Pushing things to the new extremes, cricket is warming up to be back on track.

Well, this game of wickets seems to be a tie between the two, cricket and the CORONA.

Similar to any other field, COVID is going to have a long term impression on cricket.

With new rules and guidelines, ICC is all set to host this post corona season of cricket matches and tournaments worldwide.

Wait! 

Did you get that popcorn out of the pan?

Get your dip and order a pizza, you are going to experience a completely renovated version of cricket now!!!

Aren’t you excited? 

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