Banned Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan feels the ICC guidelines on ways to resume cricket leave a lot of unanswered questions and there are issues which require discussion before the sport returns from the coronavirus-forced hiatus. As member nations ease restrictions imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Cricket Council on Friday issued comprehensive guidelines aimed at getting the sport up and running around the world while at the same time maintaining the highest safety protocols.
The measures include the appointment of chief medical officers, a 14-day pre-match isolation training camp and use of gloves by umpires while handling the ball. "Now we are hearing that it (COVID-19 virus) might spread around 12 feet, not just three or six. So does it mean the two batsmen can't meet at the end of the over?" asked the cricketer who is serving a one-year ban for failing to report corrupt approaches.
"They will stand at their ends? Won't there be any crowd in the stadium? Will the wicketkeeper stand afar? What would happen to close-in fielders? These things require discussions," he was quoted as saying by 'Prothom Alo' newspaper.
The ICC also suggested format-specific training periods for bowlers all over the world, allowing them a minimum of 5-6 weeks of training, with the last three weeks involving bowling at match intensity in order to facilitate their return to T20Is. The 24-year-old, however, said the ICC is unlikely to let cricket resume without assessing the situation properly.
"I don't think they (ICC) will take a chance before they are very sure. Whatever it is, life comes first. I am sure they will think of safety first," he said.
Shakib said he is spending time counting days for his return. "I am counting days in two ways. One, when will corona be over, and the other, when will my suspension end. I am going through a tough time. Although there's no cricket going on anywhere, I know that if it starts tomorrow, I won't be able to play cricket.
"When you are restricted about something, whether others talk about it or not, you know yourself about what you are going through," he said.