Spit banned but sweat OK to polish cricket balls amid virus

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The use of saliva to polish cricket balls is set to be prohibited as part of changes to regulations recommended by the sport’s world governing body during the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Cricket Council said, however, that sweat can still be used to polish the ball because medical advice shows “it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted” that way.

An ICC committee also recommended that local match officials be appointed in the short term “given the challenges of international travel with borders being closed, limited commercial flights and mandatory quarantine periods.”

If there are no local match officials available from the “elite panel,” the best local officials from the international panel will be chosen.

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Officials appointed by the ICC haven’t come from the same country as the participating teams since 2002.

An additional DRS review per team per innings is also set to be introduced in each of cricket’s formats as an interim measure.

The recommendations of the committee will be presented to the ICC chief executives’ committee in June for approval.

“We are living through extraordinary times,” committee chair Anil Kumble said, “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.”

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