The International Cricket Council has approved a set of temporary changes to its playing conditions with the use of saliva now officially banned, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic led to proposed changes presented by the ICC Cricket Committee, which is guided by former India skipper Anil Kumble.
As a result, the ICC Executive Committee accepted these recommendations on Tuesday and will now start to implement them as early as the upcoming Test series between England and the West Indies.
After a lot of public debate the ICC has opted against the use of saliva due to the health risk it carries under current circumstances, with sweat the alternative advised.
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 five-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.
Other changes include a Covid-19 replacement where teams will be allowed to replace a player displaying any coronavirus symptoms on the field. This rule will, however, only apply to Test cricket and not in the limited-overs format.
Local matches officials will also be used instead of neutral ones with each team awarded an additional DRS review in each innings of a Test match.
The West Indies arrived in Manchester on Tuesday morning where they will spend the next three weeks preparing for the first of three Test matches against England in Southampton, starting on 8 July.