The Cricket Committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has recommended allowing non-neutral or local umpires to stand in international matches as it explores ways to help cricket cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, non-neutral umpires are only allowed to stand as 4th umpire in Test matches and as one of the on-field umpire and 4th umpire in ODI matches. For T20 matches, there is no restriction on the background of the umpire.
The Cricket Committee has decided to tweak this rule temporarily considering the worldwide travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine rules to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
Moreover, non-neutral umpires will be selected from the local elite and international panel of umpires and referees. In case elite panel match officials are not available, best local international match umpires and referees will be appointed to stand in the matches.
In an attempt to support the wider pool of match officials, the Cricket Committee has recommended an extra DRS review per inning for every team in each format of the game.
Chairman of the ICC’s Cricket Committee, Anil Kumble, has said:
We are living through extraordinary times and the recommendations made by the committee are on an interim basis to enable us to safely resume cricket in a way that preserves the essence of our game whilst protecting everyone involved.
In addition to this, the committee has recommended that players must not use saliva to shine the ball due to the health and safety risk involved in the practice.
All these recommendations will be furnished before the ICC’s Chief Executive Committee for a formal ratification in early June.