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ICC moves to ban use of saliva to polish ball, allows application of sweat
ICC Meeting

ICC moves to ban use of saliva to polish ball, allows application of sweat

The ICC cricket committee has recommended banning the use of saliva to shine the ball, declaring the act as a health risk in the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.

The Anil Kumble-led panel conducted a meeting via conference call on Monday where it decided that polishing of the ball using spit "elevated risk of transmission" of the virus.

"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 whilst protecting everyone involved," said former Indian captain Kumble.

The ICC, however, has maintained that the traditional method of glossing the ball using sweat is still permitted since it does not pose the danger of spreading the virus.

The cricket fraternity had been engulfed in polarising debates over the application of saliva on the ball in the past few weeks as former and current cricketers communicated their opinions.

Additionally, the apex sporting body's committee has voted for a temporary suspension of the rule dictating the selection of neutral umpires in Test cricket.

"Given the challenges of international travel with borders being closed, limited commercial flights and mandatory quarantine periods, the Committee recommended that local match officials be appointed in the short-term," the ICC reasoned in their press release.

Umpires belonging to the home nation have often been accused of bias in cricket's yesteryears, causing the ICC to mandate the use of one neutral umpire per Test match in 1994.

This allocation was extended to two umpires in 2002 and no home umpire has stood in a Test over the last 18 years.

Another suggestion from the committee has been the proposal to allow an additional DRS review to each team per innings per format. This has been done to afford teams an additional opportunity to correct umpiring gaffes.

#World Test Championship#Pakistan#India#Australia#England