The ICC's new guidelines were put into practice Sunday after England's Dom Sibley inadvertently used saliva on the ball, prompting the on-field umpires to disinfect the red cherry during the second Test against West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester.
The incident happened just before lunch on the fourth day of the match at the Old Trafford.
In the 42nd over, Bess at the top of his mark, preparing to bowl the penultimate over of the session, the on-field umpires, Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth came together to examine the ball after Sibley himself had admitted to the accidental use of saliva to polish the ball.
Gough pulled out a disinfectant wipe from his pocket and rubbed down the shiny side of the ball prior to handing it back to Bess.
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee, chaired by Indian spin legend Anil Kumble, had earlier recommended banning the usage of saliva to polish the ball in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
According to new ICC guidelines, 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.
Whenever saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play recommences.