Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli nearly applied saliva on the ball by accident during the Indian Premier League 2020 match against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Monday. The moment took place in the third ball of the third over when DC opener Prithvi Shaw struck a cracking cover drive in RCB seamer Navdeep Saini’s over.
Kohli, who was standing at short cover, did not the let the ball go past him, even though it was going at a really high speed. After fielding the ball, Kohli nearly applied saliva on the ball, which would have been a violation of the ICC’s COVID-19 protocol. Kohli, though, was quick to realise his mistake, and immediately raised his hands to acknowledge the slip-up.
Meanwhile, India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter to applaud Shaw’s tremendous drive, and Kohli’s fielding, while he also said that Kohli’s actions were just out of instincts.
“What an incredible shot by @PrithviShaw there! A million dollar reaction by @imVkohli after almost applying saliva on the ball. Sometimes instincts take over!” Tendulkar tweeted.
Last week, Rajasthan Royals batsman Robin Uthappa was seen applying saliva on the ball while fielding against Kolkata Knight Riders. The International Cricket Council 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 recommenced,” the ICC notification read.
(With PTI inputs)