The ICC has reinstated that under the Player and Match Officials Area (PMOA) Regulations, smart watches cannot be worn on the field and surrounding areas which are demarcated as PMOA.
The International Cricket Council has confirmed that any communication devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, ear-pieces and any other device that can aid external communication is prohibited within the PMOA. Thereby making it clear that no player is allowed to wear or keep a device on the cricket field which can be connected to the internet.
International cricket has had a history where technology has been used to affect the outcome of the game. In the yesteryears, an interesting situation arose in 1999 when the Captain of the South African cricket team Hansie Cronje wore an earpiece to take instructions from Coach Bob Woolmer.
At that time there were no proper laid out guidelines regarding the use of technology. Hence, the match officials could not take a call at that time. However, Talat Ali, the match-referee soon approached ICC for some regulations to be formed on the issue.
The International Cricket Council obliged and since then, there is a clear rule that no communication device can be in possession of a player in the playing field.
With the inclusion of things like DRS and Hawk-eye in the game, which invite a lot of technology to go hand in hand with the game, things have changed quite a lot. Now the scenario has reached such a stage where technology can no longer be separated from cricket. It is all about maintaining balance between technology and the sport.
For now, the Pakistani players will have to get rid of their watches on the tour of England.