In wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently halted all worldwide cricketing activities till June this year. Even the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) postponed their entire domestic and international home season due to the contagious coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom (UK) as the UK lockdown continues to remain in effect. Among County Championship and international fixtures, England’s upcoming home season is scheduled to hold the inaugural edition of the highly-anticipated franchise-based tournament ‘The Hundred’.
As coronavirus continues to remain a threat in England cricket, several match officials recently held discussions with ECB’s umpire manager Chris Kelly. As per the meetings, on-field umpires will now be given an option to refuse to hold bowler’s caps, sweaters and other personal items if cricket does get underway amid the coronavirus crisis. Considering the contagious nature of the coronavirus disease, bowlers will now be asked to throw their clothing beyond the boundary rope.
Another instruction came out of the meeting was to make sure the ball is properly checked every time a six is hit, especially in T20 matches. Every time a ball is feared to have gone out of shape in cricket, it is believed that the ball has come in contact with it. Similarly, it is also expected to contract the disease if a ball lands in the crowd and gets thrown back by the spectators.
The much-awaited 100-ball tournament The Hundred is currently scheduled to be played between July 17 and August 15 in England among eight franchises each from men’s and women’s teams. However, recent reports in the UK media suggest that The Hundred is likely to be delayed till 2021 if the coronavirus outbreak continues to enforce UK lockdown and impact English cricket in the process.