Cricketers will be no longer allow saliva to shine the ball while the rarely used but entirely permissible “Mankad” method of dismissing batters will not be listed under unfair play in new laws approved by the Marylebone Cricket Club. Players have used the age-old method of shining one side of the ball with saliva and sweat to help bowlers generate more movement in the air as it travels towards batters.
The new laws make permanent a ban on applying saliva to the ball due to health reasons, implemented when men’s cricket resumed after a COVID-19 suspension in July 2020. The MCC said it found through research that the ban over this period had little or no impact on the amount of swing that bowlers were getting.
Meanwhile, Polishing the ball with sweat will still be permitted. The Lord’s-based MCC, the sole authority on the laws of cricket since it was founded in 1787, said that the changes would be effective Oct 1. The MCC said that although the wording of the law would remain the same, it would move from Law 41 (Unfair Play) to Law 38 (Runout). In other changes, the MCC said when a batter is out caught, the new player in will come in at the end the striker was at and face the next ball unless it is the end of an over.