Ban on saliva to shine cricket balls made permanent by ICC

The measure, used to help the ball swing through the air, was issued temporarily in May 2020 to avoid coronavirus transmission


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 20 Sep 2022, 5:51 PM

A temporary ban on using saliva to shine cricket balls was on Tuesday made permanent by the International Cricket Council. The ban, initially adopted as the use of saliva to shine one side of the ball helped it swing through the air, was brought about in May 2020 as a temporary measure to prevent coronavirus transmission; ICC has now declared it will stay.

Next month's T20 World Cup in Australia will be the first major tournament to be played under the new playing conditions.

"The ban on saliva use has been in place for over two years in international cricket as a Covid-related temporary measure, and it is considered appropriate for the ban to be made permanent," an ICC statement said.

The controversial 'running out' of a non-striker by a bowler of will also no longer be classed under 'unfair play', after a raft of rule changes from October 1 were endorsed by a meeting of the ICC chief executives' committee. The now legitimised move will be shifted to the "Run Out" section.

"Running out a non-striker for backing up too much will now be considered as a regular run out," the ICC said.

The dismissal was famously dubbed a "Mankad" – named after an Indian bowler who 'ran out' Australia batsman Bill Brown in the 1948 Sydney Test.

In other significant rule changes, a new batter will now have to face the next ball at the striker's end.

"Previously, in case the batters crossed before a catch was taken, the new batter would be at the non-striker's end," ICC said.

The time taken by an incoming batter to take a strike in tests and one-day internationals has now been reduced from three minutes to two, while in T20 internationals it remains at 90 seconds.

One of the other new rules states that if fielders make any unfair and deliberate movements while the bowler is running in to bowl, the batting side can be awarded five penalty runs.

Another change allows the use of hybrid pitches at all men's and women's one-day and T20 internationals.

Hybrid pitches – a blend of natural grass with artificial turf – have only been previously used in women's T20 internationals.


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