Okay with sweat but no saliva to shine ball: Anil Kumble’s ICC panel
The Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee of the ICC, on Monday recommend that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited.Updated: May 18, 2020, 22:03 IST
Players must be barred from using saliva to shine the ball but can continue to use their sweat, the Anil Kumble-headed ICC Cricket Committee recommended on Monday as a major health precaution in the game.
It is part of the recommendations made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) panel dealing with the game’s technical aspects, which held a conference call to address issues posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel also recommended the posting of non-neutral match officials for international matches as an interim step to deal with global travel restrictions.
The conference call addressed the hotly-debated topic of how the match ball should, traditionally shined using sweat and saliva, be maintained. Its decisions will go before the chief executives’ committee in early June for approval.
“We’re 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,” Kumble said in an ICC statement.
The cricket committee heard from Dr. Peter Harcourt, chair of ICC’s medical advisory committee, about the high risk of the virus being transmitted through saliva and unanimously agreed to recommend a ban on using saliva to polish the ball.
It also considered medical advice that it is highly unlikely the virus can be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit its use on the ball. It has called for stricter hygiene on and around the playing field.
The Kumble-led panel wants the rule stipulating the appointment of neutral match officials for international games to be temporarily suspended. The rule for posting only neutral officials has been in force since 2002.
With international travel heavily curtailed and borders closed globally, limited commercial flights and mandatory quarantine periods, the panel said local match officials, as far as possible from ICC’s Elite and International panel, be appointed in the short-term.
If there are no Elite Panel officials in the country, the best local International Panel match officials will be appointed.
It also recommended more technology use to support the appointment of a wider pool of umpires from around the world. It proposed an additional DRS review per team, per innings in each format as an interim measure.