‘Bio-safe zones can help revival’

Kumble urges government, corporates and National federations to work together

Published - June 03, 2020 11:25 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Anil Kumble.

Anil Kumble.

Former India captain and head of the ICC cricket committee, Anil Kumble, suggested the creation of bio-safe zones to help cricketers get back to training and strike rhythm.

“If we can have bio-safe zones where 30 players can train and play some matches, it will be good,” Kumble said, during a panel discussion organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

“It is not easy for bowlers to bowl 30 or 40 overs in a match, or even for batsmen, after not having played any cricket for so long.

“You need to build it up with a few friendly games before Test matches,” Kumble said, against the backdrop of Test series being announced by England against the West Indies, and cricket being revived in Australia and Sri Lanka.

Work with surfaces

Kumble stated that to make Test cricket lively, the surface could be “played around a bit” by leaving grass on the pitch or roughing it up to help spinners.

A substitute for saliva was discussed by the ICC, but it eventually agreed not to take this route, the legend clarified.

“The ICC has been clear about what not to use on the ball all these years,” he said, emphasising on the need to retain the sanctity of the good practice over the years.

After months of lockdown, Kumble said everyone was keen to “start the game, and not worry about saliva or sweat”, even as different countries and zones faced different challenges.

Kumble sounded practical in his suggestion that the government, corporates and the national federations had to get together to revive sports as “the virus is not going away, and we have to live with it”.

IOA assurance

The president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Narinder Batra, assured that athletes preparing for the Olympics were being taken care of in the best possible way, within the constraints posed by the situation.

Batra said that shooting training could be in Delhi, badminton in Hyderabad, hockey in Bengaluru, and athletics in Patiala.

He was also confident that the National championships in various disciplines could start from October, if everything went according to plan.

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