ICC set to ban use of saliva to shine cricket balls

Cricketers have used sweat and saliva to polish the ball during matches
Players shine one side of a new cricket ball while the opposite is left to deteriorate through natural wear and tear. This process helps bowlers swing the ball in the air

Players are likely to be banned from using saliva to shine the ball by the International Cricket Council when the sport resumes after the coronavirus pandemic, but the application of sweat will still be allowed.

The governing body's cricket committee heard medical advice that suggests it is highly unlikely coronavirus can be transmitted through sweat, but there is an elevated risk through saliva.

The recommendations, which also suggest the use of home umpires, will be presented for approval in early June.

If the use of home umpires - as opposed to neutrals - is passed, the the ICC may also allow one additional DRS review per team per innings as "an interim measure".

"We are living through extraordinary times and the recommendations the committee have made today are interim measures to enable us to safely resume cricket in a way that preserves the essence of our game while protecting everyone involved," said ICC cricket committee chair Anil Kumble.

There will be no cricket in the UK until at least 1 July, but England's men's team have returned to individual training this week with the first Test of the summer potentially coming behind closed doors against West Indies on 8 July.

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