Zim cricket players undergo COVID-19 tests ahead of training


At least 40 Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) players and technical support staff members will this week undergo tests for the coronavirus ahead of the official start of training on Monday next week, the ZC said in a statement.

Cricket is one of the low-risk sporting disciplines that have been allowed
to resume activities. But they will only be limited to training.

The COVID-19 medical examinations are part of ZC’s efforts to guarantee the health of players and staff members as well as to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes the deadly respiratory disease.

Subject to government approval, ZC is planning to host Afghanistan and
India for limited-overs series between July and August.

In preparation for those potential tours, a squad of 33 players has been
called in and only those who get the all-clear after undergoing the COVID-19 tests will officially start training on Monday.

The players will be split into small groups of not more than eight and
they will practise in their respective provinces, starting with strength
and conditioning sessions for the first three weeks before focusing on
cricket-specific skills training.

To ensure that the risks associated with the cricket environment – field of play, training venue, changing rooms, equipment and management of the ball – have been mitigated before any training session or match, ZC has also put in place other preventative and containment measures that will be strictly observed.

For example, the disinfection and cleaning of cricket facilities – including change rooms, toilets, spectator stands, offices, media centres, walkways and car parks – has already been done across the country and will be regularly carried out.

Only one entrance will be used at each training venue and at that
entrance there will be a mandatory temperature check on every player
and support staff – if temperature is higher than the announced standard,
the player or official will be immediately referred to the nearest testing
facility for testing and excluded from training until they provide negative
test results.

All players and support staff, as well as the other ZC employees, are being provided with personal protective equipment in the form of face masks, tissues, wipes and alcoholbased sanitisers.

The use of saliva to shine the ball will be prohibited, while there will also be no sharing of personal and sports equipment and wear, towels or any other containers such as water bottles and cups.

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