USA Cricket today published its Guidelines for Returning to Train and Play which are intended to assist the cricket community by highlighting the cricket specific risks associated with COVID-19 and providing a framework of information and guidelines to those who are seeking the safe resumption of training and playing across the United States.
The Guidelines do not address the question of ‘when cricket can/should restart’ as this is a matter which will be different in each local region and should be guided by the regulatory restrictions that apply there. However, they contain information and suggested best practice on how training and playing of cricket can recommence as safely as possible once the local regulatory environment permits.
USA Chief Executive, Iain Higgins, explained, “As we all know, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on all aspects of society in this country and many domestic team sports, including cricket, have come to a stand-still. We understand the important role that sport plays in society and have been working hard over the past few weeks to develop some Guidelines which cricket organizers can use to help shape their decision-making around how cricket should return in their own States as when it is safe and legally permissible to do so.”
The Guidelines carefully set out and address the cricket specific risks associated with COVID-19 and recommend a three-phased approach (from individual training to group training to competitive match play) with detailed suggestions around best practice in each phase. It is anticipated that the Guidelines will be reviewed again on a number of occasions over the coming months to ensure that they continue to accurately reflect the evolving level of risk and best practice.
Higgins added, “A few weeks ago we brought together more than 40 leagues from across the country to share their own local challenges and understand how USA Cricket might be able to support them. These Guidelines, which incorporate feedback from those Leagues as well as best practice from other USA-based team sports and cricket protocols being implemented elsewhere around the world, are part of the outcome from that initial dialogue. I’m grateful to the Leagues for sharing their concerns and ideas and I hope that these can be a helpful tool to organizers of all domestic cricket as and when it is safe and lawful for such activity to resume.
We applied a risk-based approach to the development of the Guidelines and they have been based upon a set of overarching principles outlined in the document. Most importantly, the health and safety of all participants should remain of paramount importance at all times and cricket communities should be guided by the advice of their respective local government and authorities in relation to when sporting activity should return and under what conditions.”
The full set of Guidelines can be found HERE: