As the the spread of corona virus seems to be getting under control, various sporting actions have started to resume around the world. Football kicked off recently with the german league Bundesliga. Cricket’s ultimate body, the ICC had appointed a cricket committee chaired by the legendary leg spinner Anil Kumble to look into this matter. The Committee that convened today recommended that the use of saliva to shine the ball is prohibited to mitigate the risks posed by Covid-19 when international cricket returns.
The ICC Cricket Committee also had the Chair of the ICC Medical Advisory Committee Dr Peter Harcourtn in their panel. He explained to the rest of the panel regarding the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva, and they unanimously agreed that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited.
As per the medical advice that Anil Kumble led committee received, the chance of virus getting transmitted through sweat is less and hence they saw there was no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball. They also recommended that enhanced hygiene measures are to be implemented on and around the playing field.
But cricket fans around the world seems to be in displeasure regarding this new rule proposed by. Especially the people who enjoyed swing bowling have lashed out at ICC for making such a decision. Without the use of saliva, the bowlers will find it difficult to swing the ball.
Non-Neutral Umpires and referees
Since 2002 ICC had made a rule that the officials must not be from the same country as the participating teams. But due to the current scenario, wherein the borders are closed, limited commercial flights and mandatory quarantine periods, the Committee decided to cancel that rule and recommended that local match officials must be appointed in the short-term.
The new umpiring pattern is as follows:
The appointments will continue to be made via the ICC from local Elite and International Panel referees and umpires. Where there are no Elite Panel match officials in the country, the best local International Panel match officials will be appointed.
Since the quality of on field umpiring is going to be tinkered with, the committee had proposed an additional DRS review per team per innings to be introduced in each format as an interim measure.
“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 Kumble who led this panel.
The recommendations of the Cricket Committee will now be presented to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee in early June for approval.