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Trouble looms for Phillips over spit

Black Caps allrounder Glenn Phillips – and his side – could yet face punishment after he allegedly put spit on the ball during the first test against Bangladesh.

Phillips was seen on the television broadcast apparently applying saliva on the ball during his bowling spell for New Zealand in Sylhet.

The practice – designed to keep the shine on one side of the ball – was common in cricket prior to the

Covid-19 pandemic, but Law 41.3 of the game was updated and came into effect on October

1, 2022.

“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,” the law states.

“MCC's research found that this had little or no impact on the amount of swing the bowlers were getting. Players were using sweat to polish the ball, and this was equally effective.

“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.”

The incident came after the first ball of the 34th over of Bangladesh’s second innings, when Phillips appeared to apply saliva on the ball twice before bowling, but his actions didn’t seem to be noticed by on-field umpires Ahsan Raza and Paul Reiffel.

The law comes under the ‘Unfair Play’ category in the MCC’s The Laws of Cricket, and could be punished by the awarding of five penalty runs to Bangladesh if Phillips was found to have breached the laws.

The Black Caps finished day three trailing Bangladesh by 205 runs, with the hosts still having seven wickets in hand in their second innings. Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto (104 not out) put the Tigers in a commanding position at stumps at 212-3.





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