On Tuesday the International Cricket Council announced a new set of rules keeping in mind the ongoing corona pandemic. ICC new guidelines strictly ban the use of saliva on balls and add substitute rules in Test Cricket.
ICC has added new interim changes in the game keeping in mind the Covid-19 crisis. It has also approved the appointment of home umpires. This has been done in international series as recommended by the Cricket Committee led by 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 statement read.
ICC New Guidelines
Keeping in mind the difficulty that the bowlers would find adapting to these new regulations, ICC has asked the officials to be lenient in the initial matches regarding the use of saliva.
It also specified that after a certain period of time, the violations will lead to warnings from umpires. Repeated violations will cause a “5-run penalty to the batting side”.
“Players will not be permitted to use 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,” ICC stated.
“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 recommences,” the ICC added.
It also added regulations to replace players who showed potential symptoms of the disease.”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,” the ICC said in a press release.
Introduction of domestic umpires and extra DRS
As there are restrictions on international travel in many countries, ICC has decided to re-introduce non-neutral umpires in the bi-lateral matches. 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.
As the domestic umpires have comparatively less experience than the elite panel of umpires, ICC has also added an “additional unsuccessful DRS review” for each team in each innings of a match, across all three formats. This will be a huge relief for the teams.
“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,” said the ICC.
As the pandemic has resulted in a huge loss in the finance of the game, to relief the boards, ICC has approved an additional 32-inch logo in the jersey in Test Cricket. This will help the boards to make up for the 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.
Given the ICC New Guidelines, it will be a new experience to witness the game for the cricketers as well as the fans. It is yet to see if they are implemented well. The game is certainly going to be tougher for the cricketers.