ICC Cricket Committee Recommends Ban On Use Of Saliva To Shine Ball

An Australian Test bowler looks down at a pink cricket ball as he uses his finger to shine

During a meeting over a conference call, the committee also pushed for bringing back two non-neutral umpires for all global matches. This was also recommended to curb travel.

The cricket committee of the ICC has officially recommended that saliva must not be used to shine the ball in light of the health and safety risk it poses in a world now inhabited by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

"The Committee also noted the medical advice that it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through sweat".

Australian leg-spinning great Shane Warne previously suggested using weighted balls to help pace bowlers generate swing without risking health, while Australian cricket-ball manufacturer Kookaburra said it was developing a wax applicator to enhance shine and aid swing.

The issue of maintaining the ball has been a subject of debate given the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva - commonly used to shine the ball.

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Another notable point discussed in the meeting was re-introduction of two non-neutral umpires in bilateral series at least till the time travelling becomes safer.

In other decisions, local umpires can be appointed in the short term, given the challenges of global travel.

Additionally, it was made a decision to vote for a suspension to the 18-year-old rule guaranteeing on-field officials in Test cricket must be from non-participating countries - minimising travel and quarantine considerations.

That could be a hard change to make and the new rules will be tough to police for the umpires since the assumption is that any transgression by the fielding side will be an unwitting one. "Where there are no Elite Panel match officials in the country, the best local International Panel match officials will be appointed", the release added.

If the use of home umpires - as opposed to neutrals - is passed, the the ICC may also allow one additional DRS review per team per innings as "an interim measure".

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