Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli was caught applying saliva on the ball after stopping a cracking drive during an Indian Premier League match against Delhi Capitals on Monday, violating the ICC’s COVID-19 protocol.
Fielding at shot cover during his team’s game against DC, Kohli did not let the ball, that was headed in his direction at a great speed, go past him.
While the Indian captain did not show any discomfort, he ended up applying saliva on the ball at the Dubai International Stadium. This happened after DC opener Prithvi Shaw launched into a booming drive against pacer Navdeep Saini in the third ball of the third over after Kohli elected to field.
The skipper, though, realised his mistake immediately.
Here’s the video of the incident:
— Junu #RCB (@Thunderjunu18) October 5, 2020
Amazed at Shaw’s powerful shot and Kohli’s brilliant fielding, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar promptly put out a tweet in appreciation.
What an incredible shot by @PrithviShaw there!
A million dollar reaction by @imVkohli after almost applying saliva on the ball.
Sometimes instincts takeover!😋
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 5, 2020
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.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli-led RCB opted to bowl first after winning the toss in the match no.19 of IPL 2020.
DC are second on the points table with three wins from four games, while RCB are just behind on the third spot with as many games and wins as Delhi.
Delhi Capitals (Playing XI): Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI): Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers(wk), Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.