Pakistan were forced to give up wearing smartwatches after being ordered to do so by the ICC after the opening day’s play of the first Test against England at Lord’s.
Pakistan batsmen Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam were seen wearing smartwatches, which did not sit well with ICC’s anti-corruption unit. Even though there was no allegation of any wrongdoing, the message sent by the ICC was that a smartwatch can be used to communicate during a match.
An ICC spokesperson was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying: “Apple watches in any way connected to a phone/WiFi or in any way capable of receiving communication such as messages, are not allowed. In effect, it is considered a phone unless ‘disabled’ and just a watch.”
Players use other wearable smart devices that helps them keep a log of their daily workout.
The ICC’s crackdown on smartwatches has put the focus on two other cricketers who have been seen wearing what appear to be similar smartwatches.
In the IPL, Sunrisers Hyderabad fast bowler Siddarth Kaul has worn a smartwatch throughout the tournament while in Ireland’s inaugural Test against Pakistan in Dublin, fast bowler Boyd Rankin was photographed wearing a similar device.
If such devices are not allowed, it will be interesting if the said players’ devices were checked and whether they were given clearance to use them. Since the IPL is run under the aegis of BCCI, the Indian board’s anti-corruption unit is the final authority on such matters while during the Ireland Test it was the ICC.
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