Coronavirus: Kumble-led ICC committee recommends ban on saliva to shine ball

The International Cricket Council cricket committee -- headed by Anil Kumble has recommended prohibition of saliva to shine the ball owing to COVID-19 pandemic.

Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble said the measures taken are interim to enable safe resumption of cricket.   -  Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) cricket committee -- headed by Anil Kumble has recommended the prohibition of saliva to shine the ball, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The panel, which had a discussion via video-conferencing, consulted chair of the ICC Medical Advisory Committee Dr. Peter Harcourt regarding the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva, and decided to do away with the use of the saliva.

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 whilst recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field.

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Currently, of the four umpires required for an international match -- three for Tests and two for ODIs -- are required to be neutral. Factoring in travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine likely to be imposed, the committee has proposed appointment of local umpires for now. It has also recommended increase in DRS per innings is introduced in each format as an interim measure to deal with the situation.

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.

ICC Cricket Committee Chair Kumble said: “We are living through extraordinary times and the recommendations the Committee have made today 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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The recommendations of the Cricket Committee will now be presented to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee in early June for approval.

“In the wake of the pandemic, it is important that the safety standards are maintained, so the cricket committee started all the issues be discussed and the decisions are taken in the best interest of the game,” one of the top officials in the know of things said.

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