South African captain Faf du Plessis takes saliva to shine the ball. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
South African captain Faf du Plessis takes saliva to shine the ball. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

COVID subs allowed, saliva banned as ICC rewrites rules

THE ICC has permitted the use of coronavirus substitutes in Tests but banned the use of saliva to shine the ball in a series of interim measures.

Teams will be allowed to replace anyone suffering with COVID-19 symptoms with a like-for-like replacement, approved by the match referee, although this only applies to Test matches and not ODIs or T20Is.

Umpires will initially show leniency towards players who apply saliva but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning and any further infringements after two warnings in an innings will result in five runs being awarded to the batting side.

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Whenever saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play recommences.

The ban on saliva and the use of coronavirus substitutes will be in place for England's behind-closed-doors Test series against West Indies, which is set to begin at The Ageas Bowl on July 8.

The requirement to appoint neutral match officials has also been temporarily shelved due to the logistic challenges of international travel amid the pandemic.

As a result, sides will be given an additional DRS review, taking that total up to three per innings in a Test match and two in the white-ball formats.


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