Veteran Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir on Friday inadvertently applied saliva to the ball during the opening match of the three-match T20I series between England and Pakistan at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester. Umpires rushed into to sanitise the ball immediately.
The incident happened at the start of the sixth over when it was brought to the notice of the umpires, although a video from the match reveals that Amir had applied saliva during the fourth over as well.
Mohammad Amir’s about to do another 5 years in the gulag pic.twitter.com/BJ0zaMcOTO— Essex League Cricketer (@EssexLeague1) August 28, 2020
This is only the second incident since the start of cricket amid the pandemic. Earlier during the West Indies-England Test series, Dominic Sibley had applied saliva on the ball during the second Test before admitting to his mistake.
Earlier in June, ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) ratified recommendations from the Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee, aimed at reducing the risk amid the coronavirus concerns. One of the recommendations included the banning of the use of saliva to shine the ball.
According to the rule, "Players will not be permitted to use saliva to shine the ball. 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.
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.