ICC bans smartwatches on the field, because it’s just not cricket

The International Cricket Council has banned players and umpires from wearing smartwatches on the field.

Pakistani players Babar Azam and Asad Shafi were spotted wearing smartwatches during the first test against England at Lords, prompting a swift response from the sport’s governing body.

It’s not clear which smartwatches were worn, whether they were connected to smartphones, or able to pull down data during play.

The ICC has reiterated that players are forbidden from using communications tech within the Player and Match Officials Areas (PMOA).

In a statement, the ICC said: “Communications devices are prohibited within the PMOA and no player is allowed to be in possession of or use a communications device which is connected to the internet whilst there.

“Smart watches in any way connected to a phone or Wi-Fi or in any way capable of receiving communications are not allowed and as such we will be reminding players that such devices must be surrendered along with their mobile devices on arrival at the ground on match days.”

Given the sport has had problems with the spot-fixing (the practice of fixing certain elements of matches that do not necessarily directly affect the result) in recent years, the swift action from the ICC is understandable.

The Pakistan bowler Hasan Ali said he was visited by an anti-corruption officer following the first day’s play (via Business Standard).

He said: “I didn’t know who was wearing them but yes, the ICC anti-corruption officer came to speak to us and they told us this is not allowed. Next time nobody will wear them.”

Are you eyeing a smartwatch purchase? Are you prepared to give Android Wear a shot? Or are you going with Apple all the way?