Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee recommends ban on saliva due to COVID-19 pandemic

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 19, 2020, 12.30 PM(IST)

A file photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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The Cricket Committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has recommended a number of tweaks to the gentlemen’s game as preventive measures to curb the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 whenever the live action resumes. 

The Cricket Committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has recommended a number of tweaks to the gentlemen’s game as preventive measures to curb the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 whenever the live action resumes. 

The Cricket Committee, led by former India captain Anil Kumble, has recommended a ban on the usage of saliva to shine the ball. However, the players would be allowed to use sweat to shine the ball as the members saw no health hazard as it is not a virus transmitter, as per medical advice. 

The Kumble-led Cricket Committee further recommended local umpires and match referees for international matches as the Decision Review System (DRS) is there to help them out. This step will allow fewer members travelling for a match.

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“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,” ICC Cricket Committee chairman Anil Kumble said in a statement.

Only two DRS are available to each team per innings and the committee has recommended it to be increased to three. 

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"The ICC Cricket Committee heard from the Chair of the ICC Medical Advisory Committee Dr Peter Harcourt regarding the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva, and unanimously agreed to recommend that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited," the ICC said in the release.

"... (It) saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball while recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field."

The use of saliva to shine the ball is for the bowlers to swing the ball, especially in the longest format of the game. But now the usage of saliva is being seen as a health risk. 

"Given the challenges of international travel with borders being closed, limited commercial flights and mandatory quarantine periods, the Committee recommended that local match officials be appointed in the short-term," the governing body stated in its release.

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