ICC bans use of saliva, allows COVID-19 replacement players as part of interim regulations

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KARACHI: The International Cricket Council banned the use of saliva as it modified its playing regulations on an interim basis, a statement from the ICC said Tuesday .

According to the statement, the Chief Executives’ Committee has ratified recommendations of the Cricket Committee to mitigate the risks posed by the virus and protect the health of players and match officials when cricket resumes.

Under new interim playing conditions, the teams will 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 ICC added that this COVID-19 replacement regulation will not be applicable in ODIs and T20Is.

Players are also, formally, prohibited from using saliva to shine the ball and repeated offences of putting saliva will result in awarding penalty runs to the opposite side.

“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 said.

“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 statement added.

The ICC has also temporarily removed the requirement to appoint neutral match officials from the playing conditions for all international formats due to the current logistical challenges with international travel.

The ICC will, instead, appoint locally based match officials from the ICC Elite Panel of Match Officials and the ICC International Panel of Match Officials.

The ICC further added that keeping in mind that umpires appointed may be less experienced, an additional unsuccessful review have also been approved per inning for teams. Subsequently, the number of unsuccessful reviews per innings for each team has risen to three in Tests and two in the white-ball formats.

“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,” the ICC said.

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