Cricket’s ban on using saliva on the ball – introduced after the outbreak of Covid – will become a law of the game in October… with the MCC concluding sweat is just as effective in helping bowlers achieve swing
- The ban has been a playing condition in most forms since cricket during Covid
- It is just one of the several new laws that will come into effect in October
- Any breach of the new law from then on will be regarded as ball-tampering
Cricket’s ban on the use of saliva on the ball is to be enshrined in the laws after MCC concluded it makes no difference to the amount of swing a bowler is able to achieve.
The ban has been a playing condition in most forms of the game since cricket resumed in 2020 during the Covid pandemic, but MCC – the law’s custodians – say research shows sweat is just as effective, and the decision ‘removes any grey areas of fielders eating sugary sweets to alter their saliva to apply to the ball’.
Any breach of the new law – one of several that will come into effect in October – will be regarded as ball-tampering.
Cricket’s ban on the use of saliva on the ball is to be enshrined in the laws of the game
The ban has been a playing condition in most forms since cricket resumed in 2020 during the Covid pandemic
Other changes will see a new batter facing the next delivery regardless of whether the previous pair crossed while the ball was in the air – a regulation adopted by the Hundred last season.
And there will be more leeway for bowlers in the calling of wides, with umpires instructed to take more account of a batter’s movement around the crease before a delivery.
It comes after the MCC resisted outlawing the bouncer following 18 months of consultation.
But the MCC – the law’s custodians – say that research shows sweat is just as effective
Concluding that any changes to the current guidelines would alter the balance between bat and ball detrimentally, no laws were amended in relation to short-pitched bowling in the game.
Instead, MCC will continue to promote the education of players and officials when it comes to concussion.
The laws currently permit short-pitched bowling up to head height. Anything above head height is a no ball.