Wahab Riaz: The Pakistani fast bowler accidentally breached ICC’s new code of conduct made for playing in the times of COVID-19.

During the first T20I of the ongoing Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan in Rawalpindi, Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz mistakenly applied saliva to the ball to force the umpires to sanitize the ball before resuming play.

It all happened right after the culmination of the 11th over which was bowled by the 35-year old bowler. According to ICC’s new rules of playing in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, players aren’t allowed to apply saliva on the ball.

“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. 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,” the ICC had said in a media release.

What followed was on-field umpires in Aleem Dar and Asif Yakoob sanitizing the ball to make it clean for others to resume play.

Riaz, who completed his quota of four overs, was the most expensive Pakistani bowler as he conceded 37 runs for his two wickets. Apart from him, Haris Rauf also dismissed two Zimbabwean batsman as the visitors were restricted to 156/6 in 20 overs after captain Chamu Chibhabha had won the toss and chose to bat.

Wahab Riaz mistakenly applies saliva on the ball

Brushing aside Zimbabwean all-rounder Wesley Madhevere’s 70* (48), Pakistan captain Babar Azam scored a match-winning 82 (55) with the help of nine fours and a six to seal the chase in the penultimate over and gain a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.


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