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ICC announced use of substitute if player shows Covid-19 symptoms in Tests

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ICC announced use of substitute if player shows Covid-19 symptoms in Tests

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced several interim changes in playing regulations, including the ban on use of saliva to shine a cricket ball. The world governing body also approved the appointment of home umpires in international series as recommended by its Cricket Committee led by former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble. “The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) ratified recommendations from the Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee, aimed at mitigating the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus and protect the safety of players and match officials when cricket resumes,” the ICC said in a statement.

The ICC has said that the match officials will penalise teams only after a period of “leniency” as players get used to the new playing conditions which comprise staying in a bio-secure environment and playing behind closed doors.

In case saliva was applied on the ball by the fielding team, the ICC said the umpires will first clean the ball before play recommences. “Players will not be permitted to use saliva to shine the ball,” the ICC said in a media release. “If a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment for the players, but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning. A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings but repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side.”

While some former cricketers have suggested the use of sweat to shine the ball, both Tendulkar and Lee said that in cold conditions with less humidity and perspiration, the players could face trouble. “If you don’t sweat, how do you shine the ball in absence of saliva. I don’t think its fair for the bowlers and it’s a disadvantage for them,” said Lee.“I think the ICC needs to look into that. They can assist the bowlers by giving them something they can apply to shine the ball, something which everyone agrees upon,” he added.