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.
Given the bowlers might find it difficult to adjust to this new bowling regulation, the ICC has asked the match officials to be lenient while dealing with saliva usage violation during an initial period.
However, the governing body specified that after a certain time any violation will lead to them receiving a warning from the umpires, but said that the repeated violation will result in a “5-run penalty to the batting side”.
The other major interim changes was allowing teams to replace players who display COVID-19 symptoms during a Test match.
Given the restrictions on international flights in many countries, the ICC has decided to re-introduce non-neutral umpires for bilateral series. Explaining the rationale, the ICC said it has been done keeping in mind the “logistical challenges with international travel”.
“The requirement to appoint neutral match officials will be temporarily removed from the playing conditions for all international formats owing to the current logistical challenges with international travel,” the ICC said.
Providing teams with a major relief the CEC also confirmed an “additional unsuccessful DRS review” for each team in each innings of a match, across all three formats. This decision was taken keeping in mind that home umpires are less experienced as compared to the ICC’s elite panel umpires.
Considering the impact coronavirus will have on the finances of various cricket boards, the ICC said a 32-inch additional logo would be permitted on the players’ jerseys, helping boards make up for their financials losses to some extent.
“A logo, not exceeding 32 square inches in size, may be placed on the chest of the Test match shirt and sweater in addition to the three other logos allowed as per regulations. As of now, logos on chests are only allowed in ODIs and T20Is,” it said.