New Zealand all-rounder Glenn Phillips was caught applying saliva on the ball during the first Test against Bangladesh in Sylhet. In the first Test, Bangladesh scored 310 batting first with their opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy scoring 86. Phillips picked a total of four wickets for the Kiwis while conceding 53 runs in total. Later, the Black Caps were bowled out for 317.
During the afternoon session of play on the third day, Glenn Phillips was spotted applying saliva on the ball after receiving it from the fielder. Shining the ball using saliva had been a common practice in the game of cricket but it was outlawed in 2022 after new guidelines were introduced in the post-COVID era. As per the new law, using a natural substance other than sweat would constitute unfair play.
While no on-field action was taken during the game, the Tigers were later awarded five runs. Notably, Law 41.3 of the game came into force in 2020 as a preventative measure against the spread of Covid-19 and later, the ICC decided to make it a permanent regulation.
The law states, “When cricket resumed following the onset of Covid-19, playing conditions were written in most forms of the game stating that applying saliva to the ball was no longer permitted. MCC’s research found that this had little or no impact on the amount of swing the bowlers were getting.”
It further reads, “The new Laws will not permit the use of saliva on the ball, which also removes any grey areas of fielders eating sugary sweets to alter their saliva to apply to the ball. Using saliva will be treated the same way as any other unfair methods of changing the condition of the ball.”