Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 5 December 2020

Cricketers to be banned from using saliva to polish ball as part of new safety measures

The game’s governing body are set to adopt a number of changes to mitigate the risks posed by coronavirus

Stuart Broad and other international bowlers will be unable to use saliva to polish the ball. AFP
Stuart Broad and other international bowlers will be unable to use saliva to polish the ball. AFP

Players will be unable to use saliva to polish the ball when international cricket returns, after medical advice.

The game’s governing body are set to adopt a number of changes to mitigate the risks posed by coronavirus.

The ICC Cricket Committee have recommended changes to ICC regulations to protect the safety of players and match officials.

The recommendations of the committee will be presented to the chief executives’ committee in early June for approval.

The chair of the medical advisory committee Dr Peter Harcourt spoke on the “the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva" and it was agreed that "the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited”.

“The committee also noted the medical advice that it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball,” the ICC said in a statement.

They also recommended “enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field”.

The travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic have also meant that some international matches will be officiated by umpires from host countries, and not necessarily from non-neutral countries.

“Given the challenges of international travel with borders being closed, limited commercial flights and mandatory quarantine periods, the committee recommended local match officials be appointed in the short-term,” the statement read.

“The appointments will continue to be made via the ICC from local elite and international panel referees and umpires.

“Where there are no elite panel match officials in the country, the best local international panel match officials will be appointed.”

That will also bring about extra use of technology, with an additional DRS review permitted per innings per team.

“We are living through extraordinary times,” Anil Kumble, the committee’s chairman, said.

“The recommendations the committee have made are interim measures to enable us to safely resume cricket in a way that preserves the essence of our game whilst protecting everyone involved.”

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