England caught in 'ball-tampering' drama after virus breach

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Umpures, pictured here sanitising the ball during England's clash with West Indies.
Umpures sanitised the ball after Dom Sibley admitted to using saliva on it. Image: Fox Sports/Getty

Cricket has experienced its first brush with a new ban on using saliva on the ball.

Umpires were forced to step in and disinfect the ball after England’s Dom Sibley admitted to forgetting the new rule during the second Test against West Indies.

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Sibley absent-mindedly shined the ball with his saliva on day four at Old Trafford - a big no-no amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The common practice has been outlawed amid the global crisis, with teams receiving two warnings before a five-run penalty is imposed for a third offence.

The three-Test series is being played in a biosecurity bubble behind closed doors.

England bowler Jofra Archer was stood down for the second Test after breaching biosecurity rules by travelling to his house on the way from the first Test in Southampton to the second in Manchester.

England take lead against West Indies at Old Trafford

England finished on 2-37 at stumps on day four with a 219-run lead over West Indies.

The tourists were bowled out for 287 after a dramatic late collapse when they lost six wickets to the new ball on Sunday.

England, who failed to enforce the follow-on after West Indies reduced their lead to 182 runs, lost Jos Buttler and Zak Crawley cheaply as they tried to score quick runs, with Kemar Roach castling both batsmen.

First innings centurion Ben Stokes was tasked with opening the innings and he was unbeaten on 16 along with skipper Joe Root (8 not out), with a tense finish on the cards on Monday.

“It's going to be a good day tomorrow. We need to set it up in the first 45 minutes, an hour tomorrow,” England bowler Stuart Broad told Sky Sports.

“In a dream world we get two new balls tomorrow. We've given ourselves a chance of winning this game, which is a great position.

Umpires, pictured here disinfecting the ball during the second Test between England and West Indies.
Umpires disinfect the ball during the second Test between England and West Indies. (Photo by Jon Super/Pool via Getty Images)

“The second new ball is going to be quite important, even if it's for four to six overs.”

Earlier, half centuries from Kraigg Brathwaite (75) and Shamarh Brooks guided West Indies to 4-227 at tea before Broad and Chris Woakes cleaned up the tail with three wickets each.

Brooks was the first to fall when Broad trapped him leg before wicket for 68 and the England pacer struck again in his next over to bowl Jermaine Blackwood for a duck.

Broad continued to make the new ball sing in his following over to trap Shane Dowrich lbw for another duck and the visiting wicketkeeper also cost his team a review as Hawk Eye confirmed umpire Michael Gough's decision.

Woakes then got into the act to dismiss West Indies skipper Jason Holder, who edged the ball to Joe Root in the slips, reducing the visitors to 8-260 to give England hopes of enforcing the follow-on.

A half century from Roston Chase (51) ensured England would bat again before his resistance came to an end when Woakes rapped him on the pads before Shannon Gabriel was bowled out for the third duck in the innings.

West Indies lead the series 1-0.

with AAP