'Is it legal': Cricket fans erupt as player flouts 'dangerous' virus ban

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Mohammad Amir (pictured) allegedly putting saliva on his fingers and then onto the cricket ball.
Fans spotted Mohammad Amir (pictured) allegedly using saliva on the white ball, which has been outlawed by the ICC during the coronavirus pandemic. (Images: Twitter)

Eagled-eyed cricket fans have blown up after Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Amir was spotted shining the white ball with his saliva during the T20 match against England.

The long-standing tactic to use saliva to help the ball swing has been used by bowlers since cricket started.

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But the use of saliva has been prohibited since cricket's return from the COVID-19 shutdown for health reasons, but until now all sweat has remained legal.

Yet, in England’s rain interrupted T20 against Pakistan last night, fans spotted Amir allegedly shining the ball with saliva.

While the tactic is more commonly used on the red ball in Test cricket, it didn’t stop Amir appearing to use saliva on the white ball for an added advantage.

Fans erupted on social media with some claiming the tactic is outlawed in the current climate because it is ‘dangerous’.

ICC take action banning use of saliva

The umpires missed the alleged infringement, otherwise they would have been forced to take action.

Amir’s action could have been just a result of an old habit creeping in during the tense period, but the ICC could be forced to take action.

The ICC said it would hand players an initial leniency period, before further warnings come into effect.

"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 said.

"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."

It is unclear whether the ICC are aware of Amir’s incident.