ICC committee recommends banning of saliva to shine balls once cricket resumes

Faizan Lakhani

The Cricket Committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has recommended that the use of saliva to shine the ball be banned once cricket resumes following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Anil Kumble-led committee, which met via a video-conference on Monday, has also recommended non-neutral match officials for all international matches.

According to ICC, the committee concluded a conference call convened to specifically address issues related to COVID-19, including maintaining the condition of the match ball.

"The ICC Cricket Committee heard from the chair of the ICC Medical Advisory Committee, Dr Peter Harcourt, regarding the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva, and unanimously agreed to recommend that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited," the ICC said in a statement following the committee's meeting.

The committee, according to the ICC statement, also noted the medical advice that state it is highly unlikely for the virus to be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball.

However, it recommended that enhanced hygiene measures be implemented on and around the playing field.

The committee also discussed the challenges of international travel with borders being closed, limited commercial flights and mandatory quarantine periods and recommended that local match officials be appointed in the short-term.

"The appointments will continue to be made via the ICC from local Elite and International Panel referees and umpires. Where there are no Elite Panel match officials in the country, the best local International Panel match officials will be appointed," the ICC said.

"The Committee also recommended that the use of technology is increased to support the appointments of a wider pool of umpires from around the world and has proposed an additional DRS review per team per innings is introduced in each format as an interim measure.," the ICC added.

The recommendations of the Cricket Committee will now be presented to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee in early June for approval.

ICC committee recommends banning saliva to shine balls once cricket resumes