Veteran Sussex pacer Mitchell Claydon has been suspended for allegedly ‘misusing’ the hand sanitiser and applying it on the cricket ball, the club confirmed in a statement on Sunday. The incident under the scanner is said to have happened during Sussex’s Bob Willis Trophy game against Middlesex.
In what has emerged as one of the most bizarre incidents in the post-Covid world of cricket, Sussex pacer Mitchell Claydon has been suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the alleged ‘misuse’ of a hand sanitiser. Claydon, a 37-year-old veteran who has played over 100 first-class games, is said to have allegedly tampered with the ball by applying hand sanitiser on the red-cherry.
The incident is believed to have taken place in Sussex’s Bob Willis Trophy game against Middlesex on August 22 and, as a result of which the pacer was subsequently left out of the side’s ongoing clash against Surrey at Kennington Oval.
“Mitch Claydon is suspended pending the outcome of an ECB allegation of placing hand sanitiser on the ball in our match against Middlesex. There will be no further comment at this stage,” read a statement released by Sussex on Sunday.
While ICC’s guidelines clearly prohibit the usage of saliva on balls, there is, however, no clarity over the legality of the potential usage of hand sanitisers on the red cherry. Earlier in the summer, England’s Dom Sibley and Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir were found guilty of applying saliva on the ball.
Prior to his suspension, Claydon enjoyed a decent season with Sussex, claiming 11 wickets in 4 Bob Willis Trophy games at an average of 26.72. Although his performances didn't translate into wins for the club - they are out of contention having won just one of their first four games - the veteran formed a decent partnership with youngsters George Garton and Ollie Robinson, both of whom averaged under 20 this season.