Chaired by former the Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble, the International Cricket Council Cricket Committee recommended a ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball, to reduce the risk posed by the coronavirus. In a recent press release by ICC apart from suggesting a ban on use of saliva, the committee also proposed the appointment of non-neutral match officials for all international matches.
The ICC press release read, “The ICC Cricket Committee today recommended changes to ICC regulations to mitigate the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus, and protect the safety of players and match officials.”
It also added, “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.”
However, while proposing a ban on the use of saliva, the committee stated that transmission of COVID-19 from one person to another through sweat is highly unlikely, hence it did not recommend a ban on the use of sweat to shine the ball.
With international travels taking a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee proposed that the ICC should consider appointing non-neutral umpires and referees for all international matches. It means that local match officials will be appointed in the short-term.
The press release further read, “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.”
Another major change recommended by the committee was the allocation of additional DRS per innings to teams in all three formats.
These recommendations will now be presented before the ICC Chief Executive’s Committee in early June for approval.