[Editorial Analysis] Spit and shine

Mains Paper 2: International
Prelims level: International Cricket Council
Mains level: Challenges towards conducting sports events by International Cricket Council

Context:

• Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the cricket establishment has fired its latest salvo.

• The technical committee of the International Cricket Council ruled that players can’t use saliva on the ball anymore — an age-old method to shine the ball — but can continue to use their sweat instead.

• Clarity and coherence were needed on the bigger plan to restart sports in a secure environment. Other sports have been sweating over two-week lockdowns and the micromanaging needed to repeatedly test the players, officials, broadcasters, dressing-room attendants, and other people frequenting the stadium.

• Trust the International Cricket Council to fuss over a minor point even before they announce a larger plan to restart the game.

ICC should take the lead:

• Individual countries are making small talk about it but the ICC should have taken the lead by chalking out the roadmap.

• It should have come out with protocols relating to social distancing, contact-tracing, the personnel allowed inside an arena, travel and accommodation plans, and the details about temperature checks, COVID-swabs, and other bio-security measures that are needed.

Other ethical questions:

• Should sport be given such a priority in a country like India where asymptomatic people are tested only if they are in direct contact with positive patients and where there is a lack of enough testing kits?

• With frequent testing being suggested, would it be feasible to test an estimated 200-300 people in the protective bubble of the stadium?

• Sports can be a soothing agent in these frayed times but those questions should be debated and a detailed plan chalked out before the ICC starts spitting into the wind about saliva on the ball.

Conclusion:

• ICC needs to focus on the big picture of sports and the pandemic instead of fussing over minor questions.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Income Tax, consider the following statements:

1. Union Finance Minister announced that Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and Tax Collected at Source (TCS) have been reduced by 25 percent till 31st March of next year.

2. The date for filing Income Tax return for the last financial year has also been extended till 30th November.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C

Mains Questions:

Q.1) Should sport be given such a priority in a country like India where asymptomatic people are tested only if they are in direct contact with positive patients and where there is a lack of enough testing kits? Elucidate with your views.

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