We’re beginning to see changes across all sports as teams and players adjust the way in which they operate to accommodate the changes brought on by the spread of the coronavirus – this has already been seen in other sports across the world as some have managed to get underway once again.
One of the most recent examples here can be found in combat sports, three UFC events were held in the space of one week as fans flocked to betting sites and casinos not on gamstop for reportedly one of the most bet events in the companies history – but they also did so without any fans in attendance as social distancing guidance has continued to be followed – the same is also true in football as the Bundesliga within Germany saw a return with a number of games being played over the weekend, and a further sixteen to eighteen being played per week over the coming weeks to ensure the season is played through to conclusion.
It appears as though cricket may look to be going another direction, however, as it has already been suggested that cricket may see a return in the summer with fans in attendance. Some events have already been confirmed to be pushed back to 2021, but the date within UK guidelines also suggest that regularly scheduled games may return as soon as July 1st giving fans something to look forward to – Lancashire CEO has suggest, however, that it may be possible for cricket grounds to adhere to social distancing guidelines with fans in attendance, something that no other sport has been able to tackle as of yet. The suggestion is to drastically reduce capacity – in his example given, he commented that you could take a stadium with twenty to twenty-five thousands seats and reduce the capacity to two or three thousand fans, implement a one-way system and mark off areas to restrict movements.
This positivity does provide at least some good news for fans – for now many have resigned themselves to the thought that attending a live game may not have been possible until the new year – this thought however is tentative and will only be possible if it does fall in line with latest public health protocols. Biosecure venues are already being looked at as a means to get games back underway, but as with any suggestion these are all subject to change at any time. The thing that has already been confirmed to change is that players will no longer be allowed to use saliva to shine the ball – this process allows better control of the ball whilst bowling, but given the current circumstance it is a very understandable change that is unlikely to be contested – another suggestion has also been to use home umpires to again reduce any risk – all measures to allow cricket to safely return. Players have returned to training, however, and now all that is left to do is to wait until July 8th and cricket may finally return to our screens.