ICC bans Sam Billings from using eco-friendly gloves in New Zealand tour

ICC bans Sam Billings from using eco-friendly gloves in New Zealand tour

What forced ICC to ban the gloves?

Sam Billings
Sam Billings. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was during the ICC World Cup in England and Wales that India wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had come under the scanner for wearing gloves bearing army symbol. The ace keeper eventually removed it after a backlash. And now, another wicketkeeper has faced a similar experience and it is England’s Sam Billings.

The 28-year-old, who is also the Three Lions’ vice-captain in the ongoing T20I series against New Zealand, has been stopped from wearing his new eco-friendly batting gloves on grounds that they violate an obscure colour-related kit regulation, Daily Mail reported. ICC match referee Andy Pycroft told Billings ahead of the first T20I in Christchurch on Friday that the Gray-Nicholls gloves – known as “Off cuts” because of their manufacturing from recycled cricket equipment were illegal.

The problem lied in the fact that according to the rules, more than 50 percent of any batting glove worn in limited-over games ‘must be white or the same colour as the base colour of the relevant team’s playing shirt’. In case of Billings, the fingers of his new gloves featured lime green, maroon, sky and dark blues while England’s T20 shirt is mainly red.

Sam Billings wore the gloves during warm-up games

Billings sported the controversial gloves during the two warm-up games against New Zealand Cricket XI in Lincoln recently and is set to do the same in the T10 competition in the UAE starting later in November. The T10 competition is not governed by the ICC.

When the gloves were launched a week ago, Billings had said these praising words, “It’s a great initiative. I think the world generally now is trying to get far cleaner and recycle far more. I love the fancy colours, and the great thing about it is the quality is the same as any other product – and it looks incredible.’

But the ICC’s scrutiny stopped him from wearing the same gloves during the first T20I against the Black Caps on Friday that the visitors lost by seven wickets to go 1-0 up the five-game series. He had to instead settle for a pair of white gloves. The second T20I will be played in Wellington on November 3.

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