Cricket Canada Return to Play Guidelines

This plan draws extensively on the International Cricket Council “Back to Cricket” guidelines document prepared by the ICC Medical Committee released on May 20, 2020. Because of the rapidly evolving public health environment associated with CV-19, these guidelines are subject to change. The objective of this document is to provide guidelines to assist member organizations and affiliated leagues in developing policies that will allow a return to playing cricket without compromising the health of any of the individuals involved.

These guidelines do not answer the question of ‘when cricket can restart’ – as this is dependent on the restrictions in place in each province. Rather, this document offers guidance on how members can return to play alongside the resumption of outdoor sport and exercise in their province once they are able to. Any national, provincial and local government regulations and guidance always take precedence over these guidelines.

The guidelines are aimed at local community based cricket rather than higher level competition (international, GT20 Canada) where more detailed planning is required because of the international travel involved.

Note: even if these guidelines are respected, no cricket activity- training or match play – can start until expressly permitted by the relevant province and municipality.


Since each province’s reopening plan differs, it is the responsibility of all provincial members, leagues, clubs and academies to abide by the various requirements outlined by their provincial and municipal governments. The timeline for reopening will vary depending on the jurisdiction. Therefore, not all cricket can resume simultaneously.

Before cricket resumes, all provincial members, leagues, clubs and academies must review their local government and health agency's CV-19 response and develop appropriate practices, policies and procedures for their jurisdictions. They should:-

  • Review the provincial and municipal governments current business reopening guidelines.
  • Ensure reopening policies and procedures align with the provincial and municipal governments guidelines when developing.
  • Follow provincial guidelines on numbers of people allowed in the facility at one time and physical distancing requirements.
  • Designate an individual to monitor provincial and municipal government websites for updates or changes to guidelines.

It is the responsibility of all members to abide by policies and procedures designed to ensure a safe environment for all. By following these guidelines as well as those from provincial and municipal governments and health agencies, cricketers will be able to make informed decisions as to when they can return to play.

Cricket Specific Risks

There are several risks specific to the sport of cricket which must be considered alongside general physical exercise guidance issued by the Canadian and provincial governments. Cricket is a non-contact team sport and so the risks and exposure to CV-19 may differ from full contact team sports. In particular:

  • Cricket requires players to be in close proximity at times and involves the use of shared facilities. Therefore, should a team member or opponent develop any CV-19 symptoms or be found to develop an infection, participants will require isolation and testing as they are most likely to have been in close contact.
  • Although cricket is not a contact sport, the cricket ball is a potential transmission medium and rules should be applied around the management of the ball.
  • On-field behaviour that includes celebrations with body contact, and shared use of drink bottles, towels and equipment can pose a risk in cricket and should be strongly discouraged.
  • Players should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own items (sunglasses, cap, jumpers, towels etc.) and instructed against handing over any items to umpires or teammates.
  • Participants, in particular umpires, scorers and other staff and volunteers may be considered vulnerable individuals that are at higher risk of severe illness due to CV- 19. This includes older individuals (approx. 60+) and people of any age with underlying medical conditions such as cardiac, kidney, diabetes, obesity, weak innate immunity, etc.
  • Safe and effective return of players to strength and conditioning is important (particularly bowlers). Limited preparation may cause higher injury levels.
  • Cricket is officiated by umpires on the field of play and their health and well-being needs to be taken into full consideration as they spend the greatest amount of time in close proximity to players.
  • Based on international evidence, transmission of CV-19 is assumed to be greater for indoor sporting activity than for outdoor activity, even with taking similar mitigation steps. Extra caution should therefore be taken for any indoor cricket activityl



  • Anyone faced with symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, must stay at home and not take part in any cricketing activities. They should consult a physician or public health authorities and follow their instructions. Limit contact with others and avoid interaction with individuals who are ill.
  • Anyone who has been in contact with an individual exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home and follow public health guidelines
  • All protocols and guidelines required by municipal facilities must be complied with.
  • Until all restrictions are eased, participants should arrive dressed and ready to play or train to avoid use of communal dressing room facilities.
  • Any private facilities should develop a comprehensive plan for cleaning and disinfecting common use areas and surfaces, following public health guidelines.
  • -  Health and temperature checks should be monitored for all participants at training and match venues

Back to Training

  • Progression to the next stage should not begin until it is deemed safe to do so and there is no evidence that the local CV-19 transmission rate has risen because of this training activity.
  • When using a training facility, training should be staggered where possible to minimize numbers, maintain social distancing, and reduce contact. Consider modifying training times so there are less people present at any one time.
  • Personal equipment should be sanitized before and after use (training and competition). The use of external equipment should be limited where possible.
  • Equipment sharing should be avoided. If unavoidable, an appropriate cleaning protocol should be followed before and after use.
  • Consider the age and health of participants and recommend against high-risk individuals participating in training or competition.
  • Participants should arrive ready to train and avoid using communal facilities where possible.
  • The ICC recommends a phased approach to resuming training activity starting with solo training followed by small group activities and thereafter larger groups and full training (in compliance with government restrictions). Moving through this progression can only take place if aligned with provincial and municipal public health direction. The load and intensity of training over the stages should be progressive to prevent injury.
    • Individual training
    • Training in small groups (3 or less) while following social distancing
    • Training in small groups (<10, including coach)
    • Squad based training while restricting contact

Back to Play

The following procedure is recommended:

  • Review playing conditions to minimise risks associated with playing during this CV- 19 period.
  • Consider rule amendments to allow for the safe management of the ball –
    • Regular hand sanitising when in contact with the ball
    • Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth after making contact with the ball
    • Saliva should not be used on the ball
    • Umpires to consider wearing gloves when handling the ball.
  • Consideration should also be given to rule amendments to maintain social distancing (e.g. field positioning).
  • On-field protocols – For example, no unnecessary body contact and no handing over items (cap, towels, sunglasses etc.) to umpires or teammates. Each player should be responsible for their own items.
  • Off-field protocols – For example minimal use of communal facilities before andafter the match, social distancing to be maintained at all times. A ‘ready to play’approach should be adopted.
  • Discourage sharing of all equipment where possible. If it is required ensure equipment is cleaned appropriately.
  • If spectators are permitted, social distancing should be maintained.

Back to Travel

  • Where possible, players should travel alone to and from training and matches unless they are living in the same household. Where this is not possible, social distancing should be maintained.
  • Where using public transport to travel, players should avoid travelling at ‘peak ’transport times to limit contact with others.

Communication and education

Education of the health risks associated with CV-19 underpins all other measures set out. All administrative bodies should develop an effective communication plan, as well as a monitoring plan to ensure measures are complied with.

  • Education will help promote and set expectations for player behaviour ahead of resumption in play.
  • Education should include preventative measures such as:
    • general hygiene practices – regular and thorough washing of hands with soap and sanitizing with an alcohol-based hand-rub, refraining from touching your eyes, nose and mouth and good respiratory hygiene such as coughing or sneezing into your bent elbow etc.
    • hygiene practices specific to cricket such as no sharing of drink bottles and towels and the safe management of the ball. Wherever possible, items of cricket equipment should not be shared with anyone else unless an appropriate cleaning protocol is followed.
  • It is important to educate the cricketing community on strategies to mitigate against CV-19.
  • Players should be advised to minimise the use of changing rooms, shower facilities and other communal areas. Where possible, players should be encouraged to shower and change at home instead of at match and training venues.
  • Education should include the heightened risk of severe illness caused by CV-19 to vulnerable/high-risk groups.
  • Display appropriate CV-19 awareness material within sporting facilities.


May 2020 



When Nikhil Dutta captured the prized wicket of host country Namibia’s Gerhard Erasmus for Canada during their 2018 ICC Division 2 Championship clash he set off on a celebratory run that attracted world wide attention because of its similarity to the customary wicket taking celebrations of South Africa’s Imran Tahir. For his part, Dutta has since self-consciously described that celebratory run as his most embarrassing moment in an otherwise outstanding Canadian cricket career for which he has deservedly become known as Canada’s mystery spinner!

Nikhil Dutta’s interest in cricket was first developed between the ages of 7-8. His earliest memories of being actively involved in cricket are of playing with his father in their family home’s hallway and living room. No doubt to the consternation of the family matriarch, his mother. From there the natural next step was Nikhil’s enrolment in his first-ever Academy as a means towards helping his game grow further. Nikhil credits his father as being the biggest influence on his development, throughout those early years, “he got me into the game and the techniques and knowledge that he passed onto me really helped my game to grow. He also took me to practice every day after school. We would either be doing throw downs or spot bowling just to continue to develop my game! I am still currently utilizing some of the drills he initially thought me at the Soff Academy.”

Wisely, towards the further development of his career, Nikhil also looked to already famous and well established international cricketers as sources of worthy admiration and emulation. Not surprisingly the Indian Premier League famous Trinidadian and West Indian mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine, readily emerged as a primary target for Nikhil’s admiration. “Just because his bowling is so very different to that of others and I find his demeanour to be absolutely amazing. He doesn’t get fazed by any situation he finds himself in, which for T20 cricket is a very tough art to master.”

Nikhil also readily admits, however, to his admiration for Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, who he credits as having changed the way spinners should be bowling in contemporary cricket. With regards to batting, Nikhil has also enjoyed the exploits of Jaques Kallis , Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle as being foremost among those who have successfully imposed their own respective identities and personas on the cricket field through their unique styles of batsmanship.

As is indicated on the rather impressive  timeline to the development of his cricket career, Nikhil Dutta first played his schoolboy/junior cricket at the Ontario Cricket Academy, which was the first club he joined and represented. From those early beginnings, his career has since evolved in a manner which has allowed him to become more mature, with an ever-increasing fundamental understanding as to the exact nature of his own game.

Towards that end the continuous evening practices he did with his father, along with his growing appreciation of the need to be different from other cricketers really helped. Nikhil now believes that as a cricketer you should always try different things as no one actually knows what really works for them except through the process of repeated trial and error. Once discovered, however, their special talent(s) can really provide an extra edge to their own personal game.

It was only after he’d been called to the national try-outs at King City that Nikhil first began to seriously harbour thoughts of actually playing for Canada someday; although he would suggest that it should naturally be every Canadian cricketer’s fundamental ambition. “It’s a totally different feeling though when you actually step on the field for the first time knowing you are representing your country!”

For Nikhil Dutta, that “totally different feeling” was actually first experienced on March 11, 2013 in Dubai, when he made his List A debut for Canada in a losing ICC World Cricket League Championship match against Kenya. Dutta did not get a chance to bat when Canada took first strike and only bowled 6 wicketless overs for 30 runs during his team’s turn at fielding.

Since that somewhat inauspicious beginning, Nikhil Dutta has gone on to record many outstanding achievements as “Canada’s Mystery Spinner” Of these arguably his best performance to date in Canadian colours was his 3-11 (3.4 overs) that piloted Canada to a resounding 8 wicket victory over Oman during the ICC 2018 Division 2 Championships that were being played in Namibia.

He now also rates having played at the U19 World Cup and defeating Ireland as a Test playing nation during the most recent T20 Qualifiers as his most memorable cricketing moments thus far. He firmly believes though that his own  proudest moment for Canada is still yet to come. He also remains hopeful that someday very soon Team Canada will actually demonstrate to the entire cricket world what it is really made of.

In that regard, Nikhil views the far too many disappointments that Team Canada has endured within the past two years as having been more of an, albeit painful, learning curve. Of those, the one which really hurt the most was Canada’s match against Nepal in the ICC 2018 Division 2 Championship, which had they won would have resulted in the re-establishment of official ODI status. He however insists that as a team Canada still learned very valuable lessons from that situation and eventual outcome. He also remains convinced that Canada’s dream of regaining ICC ODI status is not that far away from being achieved.

Blessed as he is with a readily obvious abundance of talent, Nikhil Dutta has never really had cause to ever doubt his own abilities or question his immediate personal future as a Canadian cricketer. He does, however, acknowledge that as a cricketer doubts will inevitably exist and do occasionally creep into your head at times.

“Whether it is before a game or at the start of a crucial bowling spell, there is always some level of doubt in your head. Such doubts can be quickly erased by the knowledge you have put in the hard yards which on previous occasions have actually seen you through and that you have prepared yourself to the best of your abilities for the situations that are being presented to you. The more we practice as individuals the easier a time we will have at overcoming such doubts since we would have already had the same experience at practice and can readily identify and utilize the options that can best overcome the particular challenge that is being presented.”

To date, the biggest challenge that Nikhil has had to face in his developing career as a Canadian national cricketer and one which has unfortunately been ongoing, has been the relative lack of match playing opportunities. With the Canadian cricket season effectively lasting only 4-5 months plus whatever international tours may become available, actual playing opportunities for Canada’s elite cricketers are by comparison to those of their counterparts in other countries, relatively few. Nikhil’s method of resolving the disparity has been to engage himself as much as possible in smart practices, which involve putting himself in situations that he knows he will likely encounter during actual matches.

Now like all others facing the threat of an even further abbreviated 2020 Season, as a direct result of the ongoing COVID19 crisis, Nikhil Dutta has resorted to the basics. "During this tough time, it’s important to try and be active if that means going for a run since the weather is better or doing home workouts and even climbing stairs. Any activity which makes your body move and sweat a bit will help during this situation!”

Now still only 25 years of age and with hopefully many more productive and injury-free cricket years ahead of him before he even begins to contemplate retirement, Nikhil Dutta hopes to be able to continue playing for Canada for as long as he possibly can. However long that turns out to be, he hopes that it will also be definitely punctuated by an appearance as a Team Canada player at an ICC World Cup! “Other than that my primary objective would be to become the best cricketer I believe I can be. That would be my ultimate goal.”

As Canada’s mystery spinner we have absolutely no reason to doubt that Nihkil Dutta will indeed achieve both his Team Canada ICC World Cup appearance goal as well as his objective of becoming his very best as a Canadian cricketer.



Amit Tamrakar recently celebrated his forty-fifth birthday and is the proud holder of two prestigious academic degrees; Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Computer Technology followed by his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

As a qualified IT Professional, Amit now enjoys the flexibility that his current role as an IT Consultant provides being able to travel whenever and wherever needed. He is also highly proficient in all aspects of both the English and Hindi languages. Amit’s professional activities have kept him busy over the years. Not busy enough though for him to have also had an outstanding involvement in the further development of Canadian cricket, as a volunteer.

Amit Tamrakar always goes above and beyond in his volunteering activities which is evident from as far back as 2009. Between 2009 and 2013 he fulfilled various duties as a Member of the Brighton Rotary Club in Ontario, the last two years of which he functioned as the Organization’s International Director.

Two years later in 2015, Amit Tamrakar served in PMI New Brunswick’s Professional Development Days Committee, and later served in their board from 2016 to 2017 as Director of Professional Development.

His involvement in Cricket started in 2013 playing at an abandoned baseball field in Saint John, NB. He would often drive with his friends to Fredericton, NB to play with other clubs. In 2015 Amit decided to start Saint John Cricket Club as a new addition to Cricket New Brunswick and became the first President. During that period, he also served as the Team Manager for the New Brunswick Provincial Team that participated in the Maritime and Eastern Canada Cup Tournaments.

Amit’s achievements in his role with Saint John Cricket Club (SJCC) can only best be described as outstanding! He was directly responsible for SJCC’s registration as a Not-for-Profit organization and for its acquisition of additional government funding. In the first year itself SJCC had raised $14,500 through sponsorships, partnerships, fundraising, donations, memberships and special projects. Under his tenure, SJCC’s members also volunteered in Programs for school kids at three separate locations.

Amit Tamrakar was also directly in charge of SJCC’s social media presence, securing significant promotional exposure for the Club on its Website, Facebook, LinkedIn page, as well as on local radio and television programs. Amit also Lead SJCC’s home ground acquisition initiative and worked to secure pitches for the Club in two different locations.

After joining Cricket New Brunswick board as a Treasurer in 2017, he was also appointed to be New Brunswick’s Provincial Director for Cricket Canada. Amit revived Cricket New Brunswick as a Not-for-Profit organization, thereby allowing it to apply for additional government funding. He also secured funding from Cricket Canada for the development of a new cricket ground in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The New Brunswick Provincial Director role, in combination with his outstanding IT qualifications and experience, subsequently resulted in Amit’s 2018-2019 appointment as Cricket Canada’s Information Systems Manager. In the fulfillment of that role, Amit was directly responsible for all of Cricket Canada’s social media presence as well as launching of the new Cricket Canada website Currently under development is the much-heralded, eagerly anticipated, Cricket Canada Players Portal.

Amit Tamrakar continued his highly commendable volunteer activities by reviving the Indo-Canadian Society of Saint John (ICSSJ) as President. ICSSJ aims at promoting and retaining the values and cultural traditions of the Indian community in Saint John. ICSSJ organizes events and festivals which showcase traditional performances, authentic food and other items from diverse cultures of India.

Kennebecasis Valley Cricket Club (KVCC) was formulated in New Brunswick in 2018. Amit is also primarily responsible for its registration as a Not-for-Profit organization. He also secured additional government funding and has to date generated KVCC income of $10,080 through sponsorships, donations, memberships and special projects funding. His achievements for the KV Cricket Club have been just as outstanding as those which he had registered during his association with Saint John Cricket Club.

Under Amit’s Presidential guidance KVCC also successfully launched its Mother and Daughter Cricket initiative with assistance from Cricket Canada ( Other programs that are run by KVCC include school kids, tennis cricket as well as annual Camps.

Amit Tamrakar’s outstanding Presidential leadership has since resulted in KVCC having received extensive social media coverage via its Website, Facebook, LinkedIn page and on several New Brunswick Radio Programmes. Amit is also currently at the helm of the KVCC’s initiative to secure a home ground location. Possibilities are being explored at three different locations.

Amit Tamrakar’s preceding profile should serve as a reflection of an individual who has continued to provide outstanding services of the highest order through both his professional and volunteer activities.

Geared as they have been largely towards the further development of New Brunswick and Canadian cricket. Amit’s volunteer activities are worthy of both the highest praise from members of the Canadian cricket community and of their emulation as an outstanding example to follow!



A few months ago, on January 22, 2020, to be precise, the Canadian and South African U19 teams lined up opposite each other for the playing of their respective national anthems at the start of their ICC 2020 U19 World Cup encounter. When the Canadian anthem was played, the player singing the loudest and with the most pride in the entire stadium would  arguably have been Canada’s Benjamin Calitz.

As a seventeen-year-old wicket-keeper and left-handed top-order batsman, Calitz was proudly making just his fourth appearance in Canadian team colours. This time in front of an audience which included his South African parents It was he says, the proudest moment he has to date experienced in his emerging career as a Canadian cricketer! An emerging career which for all its readily obvious and abundant potential now definitely qualifies as “One To Watch!”

To celebrate the momentous occasion of his South African second home appearance being witnessed by his parents, Calitz took two catches behind the stumps off Akhil Kumar’s bowling as Canada fielded first. He then demonstrated his batting skills with an ultra-classy innings of 62 not out, made off of just 77 balls and punctuated by eight boundaries. Calitz’ knock was the backbone of Canada’s 199 all out, which was, unfortunately, woefully short of South Africa’s posted match-winning total of 349/8.

Benjamin Calitz scored 114 runs from 5 innings batted at the South Africa hosted ICC 2020 U19 World Cup. He finished with a respectable Tournament average of 28.50, the third-best among the Canadians. As a wicket-keeper, his two dismissals placed him 14th in the Tournament’s overall statistical rankings.

Born July 6, 2002 in Vancouver, British Columbia, the now 17-year-old Benjamin Calitz is already harboring hopes of one day captaining the Canadian national senior team. Having already benefited from some very impressive playing and coaching exposures to South African cricket, he certainly seems to be in possession of the talents and knowledge that might allow him to do so.

Prior to his Canadian team member participation at the 2020 ICC U19 World Cup, Calitz had also played cricket in South Africa at both the school and Senior levels. He represented both the Windhoek High School First XI and the WHSOBCC Senior Men First XI in 2017. Subsequently, for the next three years from 2018-2020, he also played for both the Paarl Gymnasium High School and Wellington CC Senior Men First XI’s. Back in Canada, Calitz also made appearances for the British Columbia U-17 (2018), the Ontario Cricket Academy First XI (2019), the Boland Provincial Cricket U-17 (2019) and Canada’s U19 Development Squad (2018).

Benjamin’s Calitz’ leadership qualities and potential have also been demonstrated during his stint as Paarl Gymnasium’s Skipper and as the Captain for the Boland Provincial U17 Team. He has also attended sessions conducted by such internationally famous Coaches as Gary Kirsten, Monty Desai, Eric Simon and Fanie de Villiers. Calitz confesses to have loved cricket for as long as he remembers. A passion which was of course influenced by his having grown up in South Africa where cricket is immensely popular as one of the country’s two most recognized national sports. Rugby being the other.

Calitz has also been blessed by having grown up in a sports oriented household. Both of his parents love sport. His Mom actually served as a Youth Sports Coach when he was just 3-5 years old. That Calitz believes set the foundation for the passion he has always had for cricket. Needless to say, he also credits his mother as having been the greatest influence towards the continuing development of his cricket career.

Not unlike other aspiring young cricketers, Benjamin Calitz has also been inspired and influenced by international cricketers whom he admires. Foremost among these are Australia’s Marnus Labushagne England’s Ben Stokes and India’s Virat Kohli. All three of whom he regards as being very focused and ever determined to dominate match situations.

In addition to someday captaining Team Canada’s Benjamin Calitz’s other cricketing ambitions include playing in the GT20 and other global T20 Tournaments such as Australia’s Big Bash and the Indian Premier League. As he goes about fulfilling his lofty and highly commendable ambitions Benjamin Calitz’s emerging Canadian cricket career will indeed definitely be One To Watch!