Groundwork starts to resume cricket in UAE



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Dubai International Cricket Stadium Image: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

The Emirates Cricket Board is mulling on resuming cricketing activities. To this end, the cricket board has said that it will issue its own set of guidelines to its various entities – cricket councils, clubs, academies and its affiliates – in sync with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government and the International Cricket Council (ICC), to enable cricket to resume again.

The governing body will be issuing a memo to cricket councils, clubs, academies and affiliates, outlining guidelines, following both the UAE Government and ICC recommendations.

The Dubai Sports Council issued guidelines on Tuesday which will clear the path for returning to the sport in a gradual manner in what could be an encouraging sign towards stepping into a new normal.

On Monday, the Government of Dubai issued a circular to reopen business activities in the Emirate following a meeting organized by the Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management. The meeting was chaired by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. New guidelines were also issued for resumption of sporting activities in sports facilities.

An 11-point document lays down the various steps which needs to be undertaken for sports establishments to open and sporting activities to resume once again.

Following the announcement made by the Dubai Sports Council, the Emirates Cricket Board said that they will send out a circular soon on restarting training and eventually the restart of matches.

“In preparation of the relevant UAE authorities lifting restrictions on sports across the UAE, Emirates Crickets’ Executive Committee and Board have been in regular discussions on how we can resume cricket activities for the benefit of the game, players and the community while remaining responsible during these times,” Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board, told mediapersons.

“We are encouraged that we can now take steps toward restarting our game, and we will be issuing a memo to our cricket councils, clubs, academies and affiliates within the coming days outlining guidelines, following both the UAE Government and ICC recommendations, to recommence training and ultimately matches,” added Usmani, who took over the role of General Secretary in July 2018.

In the coming days, a fresh set of guidelines is likely to be worked out to enable the UAE cricket team to return to the training grounds. The key details are being worked out, in keeping with ICC’s guidelines.

Recently, the ICC had published guidelines on how cricket can start once again in a safe way. The guidelines were sent out to all member boards to help them in restarting cricket in their countries as Government restrictions owing to COVID-19 outbreak has started to ease a little.

The 16-page comprehensive document was developed by the ICC Medical Advisory Committee after consultations with the Member Medical Representatives, and provides a kind of prescription for the safe resumption of community cricket, domestic professional cricket and international cricket.

The guidelines do not provide answers as to when the game can resume in different parts of the world, rather provides a framework with practical suggestions on how members can resume cricket in a manner that protects against the risk of transmission of or infection with the virus.

“The ICC advised its members to use these guidelines as the basis to create their own policies for return to cricket activity in compliance, in all cases, with local and national Government regulations (which should always take precedence) and to ensure the cricket community applies the necessary safety measures when resuming cricket,” the ICC said in a statement.

The UAE team’s tour of the United States and Papua New Guinea, which form part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2, was postponed because of the coronavirus crisis which has taken the world by storm.

The UAE were supposed to play the USA and Scotland in Florida from March 31 to April 8 before traveling to Papua New Guinea to face the hosts and Nepal from June 9 to 16.

The 2019-22 ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 is the first edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2, a cricket tournament which forms part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualification process. It is currently running from August 2019 to January 2022, with all matches played as One Day Internationals (ODIs).

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