ICC cricket committee dissuades use of saliva to shine ball
The cricket committee of the ICC has officially recommended that saliva must not be used to shine the ball in light of the health and safety risk it poses in a world currently inhabited by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Among other important recommendations, the Anil Kumble-led panel has also proposed that teams be allowed the use of an extra DRS referral per innings in each format on an interim basis, while also proposing the use of non-neutral umpires and match referees in the wake of the stringent border control currently in place in several countries.
The issue of maintaining the ball has been a subject of debate given the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva - commonly used to shine the ball. The technical committee sought advice from Dr. Peter Harcour, Chair of the ICC Medical Advisory Committee before reaching consensus on the proposal.
The Committee was also apprised that it is highly unlikely that the virus could be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of the same to polish the ball. It did, however, call for the implementation of enhanced hygiene measures on and around the playing field.
There were murmurs of the possibility of an interim use of foreign substances to maintain the ball - Kookaburra even mooted the use of a special wax - but no such leeway was provided by the ICC.
The cricket committee also recommended the relaxation of the current system of umpire and match referee allotments for all international games by recommending the use of match officials from the participating nations.