New Delhi | Jagra Sports Desk: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday said that it has decided to ban the use of saliva to shine the ball in wake of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

In a statement, the ICC said that has also confirmed interim changes to its playing regulations, which inlcudes allowing home umpires in international series.

"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 statement.

The ICC said that if a player uses saliva to shine 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 recommences, the ICC noted.

"However, the regulation for COVID-19 replacements will not be applicable in ODIs and T20Is," the statement further read.

Talking about the neutral empire rule, the ICC said that 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.

It added that it 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.

The ICC had formed a panel under former Indian skipper Anil Kumble. The panel's aim was at mitigating the risks posed by COVID-19 and ensure safety of players and match officials when cricket resumes.

(With inputs from agencies)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma