Photo Credit: Cricket Australia
ICC temporarily approves neutral umpires, COVID-19 substitutes in Test matches and a ban on the use of saliva
Teams could cop a five-run penalty as part of a ban on using saliva to shine a ball when cricket emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Tuesday.
Several other interim measures designed to ensure the safety of players and match officials were ratified by the ICC Chief Executives Committee (CEC), including allowing home umpires in international series and permitting substitutes for players displaying symptoms of the virus.QUICK SINGLE
International cricket will resume next month when West Indies face England in a three-match Test series.
The series will take place without fans and with strict health protocols, including a ban on wiping saliva on the ball, a method employed to help impart swing.
“If a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment for the players, but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning,” the ICC said.
Two warnings will result in a five-run penalty to the batting side.QUICK SINGLE
If saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean it before play recommences, although no details were provided as to how that would be done.
Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar and former Australia speedster Brett Lee have backed the idea of using wax as an alternative to saliva to shine the ball.
While cricketers can still use sweat to shine the ball, Tendulkar said players hardly perspired in countries with cooler climates, such as England and New Zealand.Play VideoTop 20 in 2020: Full countdown of the best Test moments
“If you’re not going to allow saliva, and there are places where you don’t sweat, why not use wax or some external substance?” Tendulkar said during an online chat with Lee
Teams could be given a “quota” of wax per innings, the former India captain recommended.
Lee said denying the bowlers an alternative would be “unfair”.
“Maybe try a new substance that they can potentially use that everyone agrees on, that the batsmen are happy with, that the bowlers are happy with,” said Lee, who retired from international cricket in 2012.QUICK SINGLE
“I like the idea of having a tub of wax … it’s a very good idea.”
Other interim measures ratified by the ICC include replacing a player displaying COVID-19 symptoms during a Test.
Any replacement must be like-for-like switch and approved by the match referee, much like concussions substitutes, which were introduced last year.
Replacements will only be allowed in Test matches and not be applicable to ODIs and T20Is.QUICK SINGLE
With experienced overseas umpires unable to stand in the forthcoming series between England and West Indies due to travel restrictions, teams will be allowed one extra unsuccessful DRS review in each innings, up from the usual two to three.
“The requirement to appoint neutral match officials will be temporarily removed from the playing conditions for all international formats owing to the current logistical challenges with international travel,” the ICC said.
Code of conduct breaches will be partly overseen by a remote neutral match referee in liaison with the actual match referee via a video link.