Cricket: Blackcaps' Glenn Phillips allegedly captured applying saliva to ball against Bangladesh

  • 01/12/2023

Blackcaps star Glenn Phillips has allegedly applied saliva to the ball in the first test against Bangladesh.

During the TV broadcast, Phillips - a batter who has been used increasingly as a bowler - appears to rub saliva on the ball in between deliveries in the 34th over of day three in Sylhet.

The practice - intended to add shine to one side of the ball to facilitate movement in the air - was commonplace in the game, before COVID-19 saw it outlawed by the International Cricket Council in October 2022.

Research indicated that this restriction had minimal impact on bowlers’ ability to generate swing, as players were effectively using sweat to polish the ball.

Phillips' actions went undetected by on-field umpires Ahsan Raza and Paul Reiffel, who are responsible for reporting such incidents to match officials.

But during the press conference at the end of day three, Bangladesh team manager Nafees Iqbal acknowledged he'd seen the footage of Phillips and had informed the fourth umpire.

Last year, the UAE's Alishan Sharafu was caught applying to the saliva to the ball during a one-day international against Nepal, leading to a five-run penalty being awarded to Nepal.

Bangladesh's captain Najmul Hossain Shanto's undefeated century helped the hosts to a 205-run lead with seven wickets in hand, putting them in a commanding position heading into day four.

Shanto's third test hundred in the last four innings, it helped steady Bangladesh after the loss of two early wickets and set the platform for what promises to become a daunting deficit for the tourists.

"He played well, didn't he?" Blackcaps bowler Kyle Jamieson remarked of Shanto's knock.

Shanto celebrates his century.
Shanto celebrates his century. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I thought the way he controlled the innings, the way he took positive options to keep the runs flowing and then go about getting singles as well, it's pretty impressive to watch.

"It was just quite clinical. I don't think there was too many chances in amongst it. He played everything we got through to him pretty well.

"We'll have to go to the drawing board tonight and see if we can find something for him tomorrow."

Play on day four begins at 4:30pm, Friday.

Watch live, free-to-air coverage of the first test between the Blackcaps and Bangladesh on ThreeNow or follow live updates on Newshub from 4pm