The Announcement Is For England Versus India Series
The Coronavirus has been like an invasion that has held everyone hostage for close to two years now. The virus has overturned all areas of life so much so that you cannot breathe without being at risk of being infected. Not surprisingly, Covid-19 has caused disruption in the sporting calendar as activities have been suspended to prevent the further spread of the virus. One of the world’s most-watched sports broadcasts, the Summer Olympics, was delayed an entire year because of the pandemic. Cricket is no exception, as the cricket boards have found it an arduous task to conduct cricket matches amidst the pandemic.
The bio-secure environments the players have been placed in haven’t done much as the virus finds a way into the camps. Just recently, in England, as seen on cricket betting websites, some players tested positive for the virus, which threw a spanner into the works as plans had to change. The entire squad was taken out of circulation, and it was announced that a completely new squad would play Pakistan.
After months of strict restrictions in England and positive cases significantly reducing, the country finally decided to ease the restrictions. This has seen a surge in infections almost immediately.
With the England-India Test series underway available on cricket betting websites, the ECB chief executive Tom Harrison is adamant that they will not reimpose the strict restrictions on their players. In the news about cricket, the chief argued that we are now in an entirely different space than we were in 2019 or 2020, and we must learn to cope with Covid. Covid is going to be a part of life, and instead of finding ways to prevent it, the focus should be on mitigating it.
Harrison advocates for safe environments as opposed to bio-bubbles, as the latter does more harm than good in his opinion. The chief puts it out there that infections will be inevitable and the smart thing to do is build protocols to lessen the impact. The aim is to prevent instances where an entire squad is isolated just because of one positive case.
Restrictions affecting mental health
There has been recurrent news about cricket players withdrawing from the series, blaming it on bubble fatigue. Not seeing or being with their family and friends adds salt to injury and further interferes with their mental health. Consequently, the ECB has decided to take a stand and protect the mental wellbeing of its players above all else. The chief acknowledged the risk involved in doing away with the bio-bubbles but insisted that England’s priority is to keep their players in a healthy state of mind.
A single infection within the camp would mean that everyone around the player would need to be isolated even if they are tested and found negative. Harrison predicted that if that were to happen during the tournament, it would mean the entire team gets isolated, as was the case with the ODI squad. Even so, Harrison confessed, the guidelines are set by the government and are non-negotiable; it is, therefore, unlikely that there will be any exemption.
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