The ICC’s Cricket Committee has recommended that bowlers be banned from using their saliva to shine the ball, to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19, but it sees no problem with the use of sweat.
The recommendations will be presented to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee in early June for approval, said a statement from cricket’s world governing body, after the Cricket Committee held a conference call to specifically address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are living through extraordinary times, and the recommendations the committee have made today are interim measures to enable us to safely resume cricket in a way that preserves the essence of our game while protecting everyone involved,” Kumble said.
The Cricket Committee, a panel dealing with the game’s technical aspects, sought advice 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 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, while recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field,” it added.
The recommendation comes on the heels of reports that the ICC was considering allowing the use of foreign substances to shine the ball – which is considered ball tampering under normal circumstances – to reduce the risk of spreading the highly contagious COVID-19. However, the committee’s recommendations did not give any scope for that.