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No more spit shines as ICC moves to outlaw saliva use on cricket balls

The International Cricket Council have outlawed the use of saliva to shine a ball.  The ICC's Cr...



No more spit shines as ICC mov...
Other Sports

No more spit shines as ICC moves to outlaw saliva use on cricket balls

The International Cricket Council have outlawed the use of saliva to shine a ball. 

The ICC's Cricket Committee have made the recommendation to mitigate the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus, and protect the safety of players and match officials.

Traditionally, fielder have applied saliva to one side of a ball to make it swing in mid-air.

However, that practice came under sharp focus in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

India's legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble chaired the ICC's Cricket Committee on the matter, and 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."

The new rule promises to be relatively unpopular.

"Why everyone loves Test cricket is because it has so much art to it. You have swing bowlers, spinners, you have all these different aspects that make Test cricket what it is," Australia's Pat Cummins said earlier this month.

Cummins believes a lack of spit may make things even more difficult for bowlers, "I think if you can’t shine the ball, that takes away swing bowling, that takes away reverse swing bowling and I just don’t want to give batsmen another reason to score runs."

However, working up a sweat could still prove a saving grace for bowlers.

In their statement, the ICC stipulate, "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 recommendations of the Cricket Committee will now be presented to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee in early June for approval.

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Cricket ICC