Megan Schutt: Preparation for ODI World Cup will be different

As long as the women’s game is treated equally with the men’s, the game will go on without a hitch — players will adapt and we can go back to normalcy soon.

"I think in order for the game to start back up again, we will have to make some minor changes — more so on a hygiene level, to fit in with COVID-19 rules and restrictions," says Megan Schutt.   -  Vivek Bendre

I don’t think much will change in terms of the role we play in the post-pandemic period. I think women have always shown great respect and true camaraderie, which will be even more vital once the pandemic passes. We are lucky to have wonderful, committed people involved in our game, so hopefully all (and more) will come back together even stronger.

Of course there is the possibility the number of women’s matches could be slashed to cut costs, but I think we have to be reasonable in understanding that there has been a large financial impact across the globe to all sports. Cricket is no different, but obviously there will be some countries that are hit worse, so I can’t speak for them. I believe cuts will be essential, and as long as the cuts are in proportion across both the men’s and women’s programmes, I have no issue with this. I would like to hope that women’s cricket remains in as strong a position that it was in before COVID-19. As long as the women’s game is treated equally with the men’s, the game will go on without a hitch — players will adapt and we can go back to normalcy as soon as possible.

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I think in order for the game to start back up again, we will have to make some minor changes — more so on a hygiene level, to fit in with COVID-19 rules and restrictions. I’ve seen articles saying we won’t be able to use our saliva to shine the ball; that’s just a no-brainer in the current circumstances. I don’t believe such ideas will stick around any longer than they have to. I can see crowds at games, shining the ball, group hugs and, most importantly, bum taps being back on the cards as soon as we have eradicated the virus. As for the ICC (International Cricket Council) being likely to ban the use of saliva to shine the ball, I’m not overly bothered, since shining the ball mostly relates to Test/multi-day cricket; it’s not overly important in the current women’s game. At the moment, we play mostly Twenty20s and One-Day Internationals. Since we now have two balls per innings in 50-over cricket, shining the ball isn’t essential.

The lead-in to the ODI World Cup will obviously be slightly different than normal, but we won’t be the only ones in that position. All countries will need to adapt and find new ways to prepare. In a way, it creates something fresh, turns the negative into a positive. We will be doing something different! All teams will find a way. We are fortunate to have good facilities and resources here in Australia. I have no doubt we’ll adapt.

As told to Ayan Acharya