In a bid to help international cricket teams during a period of financial insecurity, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has allowed ‘football-style’ shirt sponsorships to be used during test matches for the next 12 months.
As a result, international shirts will be allowed to feature a sponsor’s name across the chest of test cricket kits, a regulation which has not previously been allowed.
West Indies, who face England next month, will be sponsored by Caribbean hotel and resort chain, Sandals. However, The Telegraph Sport reports that England may opt to use an NHS logo, in support of the front line staff who worked during the global health pandemic. In addition, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is also in talks with NatWest, the national side’s one-day and T20 shirt sponsor, about expanding its sponsorship with the test side.
As a result, the NHS logo may only appear for one match or even be featured on another section of the shirt instead.
The ICC updated regulations read: “The CEC has also approved a relaxation of rules in the apparel logos for the next 12 months.
“A logo, not exceeding 32 square inches in size, may be placed on the chest of the test match shirt and sweater in addition to the three other logos allowed as per regulations.”
Cricket’s international governing body has also instigated a variety of new regulations to be followed during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes the use of home umpires and match officials, a five-run penalty for the rubbing saliva on the cricket ball and ‘COVID substitutes’.
COVID substitutions allow teams to replace players with virus symptoms, similarly to how cricket deals with concussion substitutes, with the match referee determining a like for like replacement.
These regulations are expected to be in place for England’s next three test matches with the West Indies, however, the regulations could continue after that dependent on health guidelines and regulations.