The International Cricket Council Cricket Committee, chaired by former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble, recommended ban on use of saliva to shine the ball, in order to mitigate the risk posed by the coronavirus, the ICC said in a press release. Apart from recommending ban on saliva, the committee also proposed appointment of non-neutral match officials for all international matches. “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,” read a press release from the ICC.
“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,” it added.
However, while proposing a ban on use of saliva, the committee stated that it is highly unlikely for the coronavirus to transmit from one person to another through sweat, hence it didn’t recommend ban on use of sweat to shine the ball.
“The Committee also noted the medical advice that it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball whilst recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field,” the release added.
The committee made these recommendations after conference call on Monday during which it discussed issues related to COVID-19.
These recommendations will now be presented before the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee in early June for approval.