Two India cricketers have come under the microscope for appearing to apply saliva to the ball during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
Amit Mishra was the first to be seen seemingly transgressing, with the Delhi Capitals leg-spinner spotted licking his fingers before rubbing the ball while standing at the top of his mark before his second ball against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
— faceplatter49 (@faceplatter49) September 29, 2020
Robin Uthappa was then spotted apparently infringing on the same rule in Rajasthan Royals’ clash against Kolkata Knight Riders. After dropping a catch off the bowling of Tom Curran in the third over of the game, the 34-year-old could be seen touching his tongue before rubbing the ball.
Up – and then down! ⬆️⬇️#KKR opener Narine skies Unadkat down the ground – but Uthappa spills the chance under the lights 🤦
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) September 30, 2020
The use of saliva to help shine the ball has been banned in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic to help prevent the spread of the disease. IPL playing conditions state that after a team receives two warnings during an innings, a third infringement will lead to a fine of up to 10 lakh Indian rupees being handed down to the offending player. After any infringement, the umpires will wipe the ball with an appropriate cloth. There is no suggestion the umpires spotted either incident during the respective games.
Several players have suffered momentary lapses in breaking with the ingrained habit of shining the ball with saliva, with England’s Dom Sibley the first to do so in a top-level game, during England’s second Test against West Indies.