Shillong, Oct 16: Clubs and associations will be able to recommence cricket training but not competitive matches after the Directorate of Sports & Youth Affairs issued standard operating procedures for the sport.

Three pages worth of SOPs (too lengthy to reproduce here) were listed by the government, divided between responsibilities to be assumed by stakeholders, venue owners/management and players.

The SOPs, dated 14th October but shared with the press today, come just before the BCCI holds a virtual Apex Council meeting tomorrow where a discussion on the viability of holding a domestic cricket season this year is expected to be discussed.

In general, the SOPs recommend plenty of hand sanitiser, social distancing and disinfecting of equipment and other paraphernalia at the ground.

More specifically, as stakeholders, clubs and associations must appoint a Chief Medical Officer whose duty it will be to monitor the compliance of the SOPs and Covid protocols, control movement on and off the field and educate participants on hygiene practices (general as well as those specific to cricket, ie ball hygiene).

Those above 60 years old and/or those who have underlying health conditions are barred from taking part in training sessions, the SOPs state. Other rules for organisers include the numbering of balls used in a training session. The International Cricket Council has already banned the use of saliva to shine balls because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus and this guideline is reiterated in Meghalaya’s SOPs.

If there are back-to-back training sessions, no players are allowed to take part in both. Players are also expected to bring all of their own equipment and not share these with others. High-fives and other celebrations that involve body contact between players have also been forbidden as cricket looks to resume in the state.

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