Dubai (UAE) | Jagran Sports Desk: Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli on Monday was caught applying saliva in the 19th game of Indian Premier League. Kohli, who was fielding at shot cover, inadvertently applied saliva on the ball against Delhi Capitals, violating the COVID-19 protocol of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The 31-year-old, however, immediately realised his mistake and apologised for it. The video of the incident has gone viral on social media. Even legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar caught Kohli applying saliva and posted about it on Twitter. "What an incredible shot by Prithvi Shaw there! A million dollar reaction by Virat Kohli after almost applying saliva on the ball. Sometimes instincts take over!" the legendary batsman tweeted.

The ICC had banned the saliva to shine the ball because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. In its standard operating procedures (SOPs), the ICC has stated repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty.

"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," the ICC had said in its guidelines.

"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 recommenced," it added.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time when a player was caught applying saliva on the cricket ball. Last week, Rajasthan Royals batsman Robin Uthappa was seen applying saliva on the ball while fielding against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma