Changes to cricket protocols

By Andrew Johnston

MATCH-day protocols at all levels of cricket will change significantly for the 2020-21 season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A series of changes will be introduced by Cricket Australia to attempt to keep players as safe as they can during the season.

Cricket Victoria competitions manager Darren Anderson said cricket would look very different this season.

“Everyone needs to understand this won’t be a normal cricket season and what we’re saying is that cricket in a pandemic will be a privilege,” Anderson said.

“The message we’re trying to put out is that cricket will be a lot different to what everyone is used to.

“There are going to be some onerous tasks and jobs for volunteers, players and umpires that are going to have to be completed on a weekly basis, just so we can get out on the park and play a season of cricket.”

A major change will be in how players can alter the condition of the ball, with traditional methods for bowlers such as using saliva or sweat to shine the ball now being banned.

Captains will be required to use a special wipe to clean the ball every few overs, as well as at the fall of wickets and at the end of sessions.

Among other measures, umpires will not be allowed to take the hat, sunglasses or jumper of the bowler, instead they will be placed in a designated place.

Equipment sharing will also be banned.

“Gloves, pads, helmets, thigh guards, they’re all designed to absorb sweat and so the message is that there is to be no sharing between players, and no doubt that will cause a few issues, especially at the junior levels,’’ Anderson said.

“We’re working through with Cricket Australia and the respective government agencies to find out a bit more about that, but that’s what we’re putting out there, no equipment sharing.’’