Much like NDZ's 'zol' no saliva on cricket ball, Covid-19 subs to be permitted - ICC
CAPE TOWN – Home umpires and a ban on the use of saliva are amongst the interim changes to playing regulations announced by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday.
The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) ratified recommendations from the Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee, aimed at mitigating the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus and protect the safety of players and match officials when cricket resumes.
In a statement outlining the new regulations, the ICC said that players will not be allowed to use saliva to help shine the ball. “. 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 statement reads.
“A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings but repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side. Whenever saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play recommences.”
The Cricket Committee’s recommendations, first made last month, did permit the use of sweat to shine the ball.
Meanwhile home umpires will be allowed to stand in international matches, as means to alleviate the problems with regard to travel. The ICC said it was for now a temporary measure. That decision has also had an effect on the number of reviews available to teams, which has been increased from two to three in Test matches and one to two in the limited overs formats.
The ICC will implement that measure as there “may be less experienced umpires on duty at times.”
“The ICC Cricket Operations team will support Match Referees when processing Code of Conduct breaches, and a neutral Elite Panel match referee will conduct any hearing remotely via video link.”
Teams will also be allowed to replace players displaying symptoms of COVID-19 during a Test match. In line with concussion replacements, the Match Referee will approve the nearest like-for-like replacement. However, the regulation for COVID-19 replacements will not be applicable in ODIs and T20Is.
In a final change – clearly aimed at providing sponsors with more bang for their buck – the ICC will allow logos to be stitched onto the centre of the Test match shirt. The logo “may not exceed (206 square centimetres) in size.”
The first matches where these new measures will be seen will be the Test series between England and the West Indies. The West Indies touched down in England on Tuesday and started a two week quarantine period in Manchester. The two teams will meet in the first Test in Southampton on July 8 no spectators will be permitted.