International Cricket Committee (ICC) panel has now prohibited the use of saliva to shine the ball to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19 when the cricket resumes.
Media reports said The committee,proposed that local umpires be appointed for matches in the short term to deal with international travel restrictions during the pandemic. Furthermore the committee also recommended an increase in reviews per innings through DRS for this.
ICC panel said changes to regulations have been brought in to “to diminish the risks posed by the novel coronavirus and protect the safety of players and match officials”.
With regards to the saliva ban, the Cricket Committee acted on ICC Medical Advisory Committee chair Dr. Peter Harcourt’s advice. The regulation to ban saliva to shine the ball as put in place because spitting on the ball increases the risk of virus transmission.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advisory says: “COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes.” The ICC Cricket Committee unanimously agreed to enforce the ban.
Moreover ICC panel did not prohibit use of sweat. Players can use sweat to shine or polish the ball. “The Committee also noted the medical advice that it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball whilst recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field,” says the ICC release. Furthermore the release said that this is in accordance with the guidelines issued by WHO and the Johns Hopkins University. Both omit sweat as a transmitting agent of the virus.