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England training session delayed over lack of PPE kit, balls: Report

England and Wales Cricket Board was hoping that the training of players would start at the earliest in order to resume Test cricket in July

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England cricket team | sports | Coronavirus

BS Web Team & agencies  |  New Delhi 

Lord's Cricket Ground. Photo: @HomeOfCricket
Lord's Cricket Ground. ECB remains hopeful that the training sessions would get underway for the players later this week. Photo: @HomeOfCricket

The training sessions involving England bowlers have been delayed due to complications in delivering safety protocols.
 
The England Cricket Board (ECB) was hoping that the training of players would start at the earliest in order to resume Test cricket in July, but some issues emerged in establishing uniform practices to minimise the chances of infection and they turned out to be slightly harder to implement, cricket website ESPNCricinfo reported.
 
According to ESPNCricinfo report, the reason for the delay was scarcity in personal protective equipment (PPE) which was to be worn by physios and there was also a delay in getting the cricket balls delivered to the bowlers.
 
Earlier, it was established that each bowler would be using his own cricket ball as a precautionary measure against the

 
However, the ECB remains hopeful that the training sessions would get underway for the players later this week. 

What were the ECB guidelines?

  • A "one skin per ball" policy will be implemented for the sessions at 11 county grounds where players will train at different times to ensure social distancing.
  • The players have to use only the individual box of balls assigned to them and the balls must remain in their kit bags when not in use.
  • Bowlers will be having one-on-one sessions with coaches from Wednesday and the batsmen will enter the nets two week later.
  • Players have been told to travel by car, bring their own clearly marked water bottles, regularly sanitise hands and make a swift departure afterwards before showering at home.
  • They will also undergo temperature checks before hitting the nets under the supervision of a coach and physio.
  • A two-metre distance has to be maintained with the coach and the physio will be the only one wearing a PPE kit.
  • When the batsmen resume net sessions, they must not pick the ball up and pass it back to the coach, instead they will kick it or use the bat to hit it back.
 It was earlier established that the bowlers will require time to get into thick of things, and this was the main reason behind ECB's decision to allow bowlers to train first.
 
It has been reported that England is looking to play Test series against West Indies and Pakistan in July-August this year and both the series are most likely to be played behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment.
 
On May 14, the ECB had confirmed that their men's team will return to individual skills-based training amid the pandemic.
 
The board said by utilising venues across the country for individual sessions, it will be able to provide a controlled environment that ensures adherence to safety protocols and social distancing measures for players and staff as set out by the government.
 
Currently, all cricket action across the world has come to a standstill due to the pandemic.
 
If England and West Indies indeed go ahead with the Test series, then it can be a first international cricket series since March this year.

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 16:13 IST