ICC approves interim regulation changes: Ban imposed on use of saliva to shine balls 

The teams will be allowed to replace players displaying symptoms of COVID-19 during a Test match.

Jun 9, 2020 20:35 IST
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has approved interim changes to its playing regulations, which includes a ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball.

The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) ratified the recommendations from the Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee, which were aimed at lessening the risks posed by coronavirus pandemic and protect the health of players and match officials when cricket resumes.

Following interim changes have been approved:

Player Replacements: The teams will be allowed to replace players displaying symptoms of COVID-19 during a Test match. The Match Referee will approve the nearest like-for-like replacement in line with concussion replacements. This regulation for COVID-19 replacements will not be applicable in ODIs and T20Is. 

Ban on use of saliva: The players will no longer be allowed to use saliva to shine the ball. However, if a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will handle the situation initially with some leniency to allow the players to adjust to the new regulations. However, subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning.


A team will be issued up to two warnings per innings for using saliva to shine the ball. But repeated violation will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side. 

Precautionary steps

Whenever a bowler accidentally applies saliva to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play recommences.

Match officials: The ICC has decided to temporarily remove the requirement of appointing neutral match officials from the playing conditions for all international formats due to the current logistical challenges with international travel. The ICC will be appointing locally-based match officials from the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Officials and the Emirates ICC International Panel of Match Officials.

Additional DRS reviews: The ICC CEC has also confirmed the provision of an additional unsuccessful DRS review for each team in each innings of a match, as they may be less experienced umpires on duty at times. This will increase the number of unsuccessful appeals per innings for each team to three for Tests and two for ODIs/ T20s. The ICC Cricket Operations team will be supporting the Match Referees while processing the Code of Conduct breaches and a neutral Elite Panel match referee will conduct hearings remotely using a video link.

Logo Rules Relaxation: The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee has also approved the relaxation of rules on apparel logos for the next 12 months. The ICC has allowed additional logo, not exceeding 32 square inches in size, to be placed on the chest of the Test match shirt and sweater in addition to the three other logos allowed as per regulations. Till now, logos on chests were only allowed in ODIs and T20Is.