ICC Releases COVID-19 Protocols related to Replacements and Other Interim Changes

COVID19 met an unprepared world. It has left the global community shattered. Cricketing activities have taken a hit. Stadiums are silent for a while and international fixtures are no possibility in June.

In light of the new norms around social distancing and the mandatory need for physical distancing, ICC has ratified guidelines to ensure the resumption of the game in a safer environment. A committee led by Anil Kumble recommended several additions and alternatives to the game. The chief executive committee of the apex body has given its nod to suggestions. There would be a COVID-19 replacement which shall be very similar to concussion replacement as we see currently.

ICC logo
The International Cricket Council (@ICC)

The match referee shall approve the nearest like-for-like replacement for the player showing symptoms of covid19. These replacements won’t be seen in ODIs or T20s. Moreover, there would be a ban on applying saliva on the ball. The first few instances would be judged leniently but later warnings can be issued by umpires and after two such warnings, a five-run penalty can be slammed on the batting side.

The ground umpire shall clean the ball after saliva is used. The requirement of having a non-neutral umpire is also removed temporarily. Due to the logistical changes, locally-based match officials from the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Officials and the Emirates ICC International Panel of Match Officials can be appointed. As there might be an absence of highly experienced umpires, an additional DRS shall be given.

The number of unsuccessful appeals per innings for each team to three for Tests and two for the white-ball formats. ICC cricket operations will further support Match Referees in processing code of conduct breaches. A neutral elite panel match referee shall head any hearing remotely with a video link. Lastly, CEC has also approved relaxation on regulation for apparel. This exemption shall be valid for 12 months.

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As per ICC, A logo, not exceeding 32 square inches in size, may be placed on the chest of the Test match shirt and sweater in addition to the three other logos allowed as per regulations. As of now, logos on chests are only allowed in ODIs and T20Is. These changes shall be tested for their efficacy when Windies began their tour in England. The administrators have been sharp to acknowledge the realities and have brought changes to keep the game going. There could be revisions in the near future as players come ahead for bilateral clashes.


Pic Credits: Getty Images
Pic Credits: Getty Images


1) The teams are now allowed to replace a player during an ongoing test match if he shows symptoms of COVID-19

2)The players will be restricted to use saliva to shine the ball and on the repeated use of the same after issuing 2 warnings, a 5 run penalty to be awarded to the batting side.

3)Owing to the current international travel challenges, the requirement for appointing non-neutral umpires to be removed temporarily and local officials to be appointed.

4)The number of unsuccessful DRS reviews to be increased per team per inning to three in test matches and 2 in white-ball cricket due to less experienced umpires on duty.

5)A logo not exceeding 32 square inches to be allowed on the chest of test match shirt and sweater along with 3 additional logos for 12 months.

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