Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli inadvertently applied saliva on the ball after stopping a cracking drive against Delhi Capitals (DC) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Monday, violating the ICC’s COVID-19 protocol.
Fielding at short cover, Kohli did not let the ball, that was headed in his direction at a great speed, go past him. While the Indian captain did not show any discomfort, he ended up applying saliva on the ball at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
This happened after DC opener Prithvi Shaw launched into a booming drive against pacer Navdeep Saini in the third ball of the third over after Kohli elected to field. The skipper, though, realised his mistake immediately.
Last week, Rajasthan Royals batsman Robin Uthappa was seen applying saliva on the ball while fielding against Kolkata Knight Riders. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had banned the use of saliva to shine the ball due to the COVID-19 pandemic in June this year.
“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 had stated in its Standard Operating Procedure.
“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 is recommenced,” the ICC notification read.