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Amid Coronavirus, ICC bans Use of Saliva to shine ball; many bowlers retaliates

Story Highlights
  • In the view of coronavirus outbreak, ICC bans use of saliva to polish the ball
  • Australia’s pace spearhead Pat Cummins has urged cricket’s lawmakers to sanction the use of an artificial substance to shine the ball

Sports: The ICC Cricket Committee, chaired by Anil Kumble recommended changes to ICC regulations to mitigate the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus and protect the safety of players and match officials in a conference call.

The Committee recommended that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited and advised to use sweat to shine the ball.
“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,” ICC said in the media release.


“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,” media release read.

The recommendations of the Cricket Committee will now be presented to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee in early June for approval.


After the conference call, ICC Cricket Committee Chairman Anil Kumble said, “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.”

Harbhajan singh, ex Indian world cup winner player showed his displeasure and said without the usage of saliva, fast bowlers and spinners will find it difficult to execute their skills properly when the ball gets old.

Harbhajan Singh’s comments came after the ICC Cricket Committee, led by Anil Kumble, recommended the ban of usage of saliva on cricket balls due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Cricket Committee said that the players will be free to use sweat to shine the ball as it noted a ‘medical advice’ that said it is highly unlikely the virus will be transmitted through sweat.

Australian pacer and all rounder Pat Cummins also expressed his views on the ban. He urged ICC lawmaker to sanction an alternative artificial substance to shine the ball. He said that If we remove saliva, we have to have another option,” He further added that “Sweat’s not bad, but I think we need something more than that, ideally. Whatever that is, wax or I don’t know what.

Earlier this month, Australian manufacturer Kookaburra said it had developed a wax applicator that would allow cricket balls to be shined without using sweat or saliva.

Meanwhile, India has recorded more than 1,12,000 confirmed cases on Thursday morning as per the data released by Health ministry. The death toll has reached to 3,456 and there are total 63,624 active cases in the country.

—– Shivam Shrivastava

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