Australian cricketers David Warner and Steve Smith will be able to resume training in a fortnight. Picture: Peter Wallis
Australian cricketers David Warner and Steve Smith will be able to resume training in a fortnight. Picture: Peter Wallis

The crazy rules cricket will employ to resume training

Steve Smith and David Warner have wiped out plenty of bowling attacks, but they'll be required to wipe down their own benches when Australia's Test stars return to work on June 1.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the biggest international cricket names in the country have been cleared by the NSW Government to start training again in 11 days under strict biosecurity protocols.

Cricket Australia's high performance base in Brisbane remains shut down indefinitely, but Cricket NSW's training headquarters at Sydney Olympic Park has been granted the same government exemptions as the NRL and AFL to resume net sessions and gym work for the Blues and their horde of Aussie reps.

 

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The boys are back in town: Some of Australia’s big guns will return to training in a fortnight Picture: Getty
The boys are back in town: Some of Australia’s big guns will return to training in a fortnight Picture: Getty

If there was one state to get a head start on the rest of the country, Australian coach Justin Langer will be pleased it's NSW, with Smith, Warner, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa and Sean Abbott headlining the nucleus of superstars all given the green light to get back into the nets ahead of a possible mission impossible return to cricket in England in September.

The Daily Telegraph understands Cricket NSW have state government approval to train groups of 10 training in the nets or the gym at any one time, even though they are indoor spaces.

Cricket Australia medical chief Alex Kountouris said on Wednesday other states were still limited to only one-on-one training.

The ground floor of the Sydney Olympic Park facility will be turned into a biosecurity bubble, with entry and access to be heavily restricted.

The stars of Australian cricket have been cleared to return to training next month. Picture: Peter Wallis
The stars of Australian cricket have been cleared to return to training next month. Picture: Peter Wallis

Players will be specifically instructed to only turn up 5 minutes before each session, where they will have their temperature taken and be assigned for either net training or gym work.

After an hour, those players, including Australia's highest paid cricketers will be expected to clean and disinfect their area, and then avoid any interaction with the next wave of players who will arrive for their sessions.

Training sessions will allow a maximum of one batsman and two bowlers per individual net. Or one batsman, one bowler and one coach.

The fact cricket pre-seasons are mainly conducted indoors was presenting one roadblock for administrators, but Cricket NSW's state-of-the-art facility - including six indoor nets - has satisfied the government's arrangements allowing professional sportspeople to train.

There is enough room in the facility to abide by the one-person per four-square metre role and also abide by 1.5 metre social distancing requirements.

 

Batting fanatic Steve Smith will be eager to get back into the nets. Picture: Getty
Batting fanatic Steve Smith will be eager to get back into the nets. Picture: Getty

Cricket NSW will fence off an area between the nets and gym to make two clear spaces and players will rotate in and out of their stations in an anticlockwise direction so as to avoid contact with other groups.

Players will be banned from using saliva and will likely use their own individual ball to bowl with - a ball which might be disinfected before training.

Kountouris admits there's no knowing when Langer will be allowed to get his full Australian squad back together again, but the NSW government has provided a major breakthrough in continuity.

"That's all up in the air at the moment. We'll be guided by the government," said Kountouris.

"At the moment we don't have a schedule and don't know when we'll be playing our next tournament so we don't really have to worry about that.

"Our priority is to get players who have just come off leave into some low level training then gradually build that up. Eventually both our international and state players will have to train as groups and the international players will have to get together in a camp-like environment but we aren't even close to that at the moment."

The delicate operation of getting Australia's biggest name cricketers back to work after several months stuck at home has been carried out under tight framework provided by the Australian Institute of Sport.


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