Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli shining the ball (Photo: Twitter)

The International Cricket Council (ICC), on Tuesday, confirmed interim changes to the playing regulations in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.  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.

International cricket is set to resume next month with England hosting West Indies for a three-match Test series. The pandemic has halted cricket across the world. The ODI between New Zealand and Australia on March 13 was the last international game. But if everything goes well, international break can finally start next month. And before the players could take the field, the ICC have confirmed a series of new regulations.

The new playing regulations include the ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball, Covid-19 replacements, additional DRS reviews and allowing home umpires in international series.

Here is the list of the new regulations confirmed by the ICC: 

Ban on applying saliva to the ball:

Players have been prohibited from using saliva to shine the ball. If a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment for the players, but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning.

A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings but repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side. Whenever saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play starts.

Pink ball (Credits: Twitter)

Covid-19 replacements:

Teams will be allowed to replace players displaying symptoms of Covid-19 during a Test match. In line with concussion replacements, the Match Referee will approve the nearest like-for-like replacement.

Additional DRS reviews:

The CEC has also confirmed an additional unsuccessful DRS review for each team in each innings of a match, keeping in mind that there 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 the white-ball formats.

Non-neutral umpires:

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 will be able to appoint locally based match officials from the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Officials and the Emirates ICC International Panel of Match Officials.

Ashes Umpires, Joel Wilson
Umpire (Credits: Twitter)

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