Experienced left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz on Saturday received a warning from umpires for breaching the coronavirus regulations by using saliva to shine the ball during the first T20 International between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi.
The incident took place in the 11th over when Wahab started his over in the Zimbabwe innings, and umpires Aleem Dar and Asia Yaqoob spotted the indiscretion and asked the bowler to leave the ball on the ground.
Play resumed only after the reserve umpires brought sanitary wipes into the ground, which were used to clean the ball.
“I think with the players and officials all in a secure bio-bubble during a series because of the COVID-19 situation, authorities need to revisit the regulations governing the game nowadays due to the pandemic,” Ramiz Raja, former Pakistan captain-turned-commentator, said.
Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir was also warned for applying saliva on the ball during the first T20I against England at the Old Trafford in August.
In the ongoing Indian Premier League, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli and Rajasthan Royals batsman Robin Uthappa were also seen applying saliva on the ball while fielding against Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders, respectively.
According to the ICC regulations, three warnings for using saliva on the ball result in a five-run penalty for the fielding side.
The International Cricket Council had banned the use of saliva to shine the ball due to the COVID-19 pandemic in June this year.