England vs West Indies: Umpires apply disinfectant on ball after Dominic Sibley accidentally uses saliva
The incident occurred after 41st over of Windies’ innings, and umpire Michael Gough was seen unsealing a sanitised tissue which he used to rub the ball on both the sides.Updated: Jul 19, 2020 19:30 IST
It has finally happened and this will certainly be a trivia question in the future - who was the first player to accidentally use saliva on the ball in the post Covid-19 era? The answer is Dominic Sibley. The England batsman, who scored a century in Manchester in the first innings, was seen accidentally rubbing the ball with saliva at the end of a Chris Woakes over on Day 4 of the 2nd Test against West Indies.
The incident occurred after 41st over of Windies’ innings and the England team themselves brought the incident into umpires’ attention. Umpire Michael Gough was seen unsealing a sanitised tissue which he used to rub the ball on both the sides. This is the first time that a player has applied saliva on the ball in international cricket since the new Covid-19 rules were announced by the ICC.
As part of the Covid-19 restrictions, ICC had stated earlier: “Players will not be permitted to use saliva to 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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, West Indies reached 118-2 at lunch on the fourth day of the second test in Manchester on Sunday, trailing hosts England by 351 runs in the first innings. After day three of the test was washed out, the West Indies resumed on 32-1 in bright sunshine, with Kraigg Brathwaite and Alzarri Joseph at the crease and the visitors 437 runs behind.
Joseph was dropped early on by Ben Stokes in the slips off Chris Woakes’ bowling but spinner Dom Bess came on and struck with his second delivery to have the Windies nightwatchman caught at short leg by Ollie Pope for 32.
However, Shai Hope (25 not out) came out and steadied the innings to stitch together a 48-run partnership with Brathwaite, who was unbeaten on 41.
(With inputs from Reuters)