India’s gun fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah wants ICC to come up with an alternative to saliva for shining ball in Covid-19 era. Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee has recommended a ban on the usage of saliva after taking into consideration the medical risks involved. However, the former players and the fast bowlers across the globe feel there should be an alternative which allows them to shine the ball.
In fact, the Cricket Committee has given a green light to the players to use their sweat on the ball. On the other hand, it is well known that the saliva plays a key role for the fast bowlers in keeping shine on one side of the ball. Consequently, it helps them in conventional and reverse swing.
With saliva taken away from the fast bowlers, it is going to make it difficult for them to swing the ball. Thus, the game will be tilted in favour of the batsman. In fact, many former players have come up with their suggestions to replace saliva.
Jasprit Bumrah said while talking to Shaun Pollock and Ian Bishop on ICC video series Inside Out, “The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit. I don’t know what guidelines we’ll have to follow when we come back, but I feel there should be an alternative. If the ball is not well maintained, it’s difficult for the bowlers. The grounds are getting shorter and shorter, the wickets are becoming flatter and flatter. So we need something, some alternative for the bowlers to maintain the ball so that it can do something – maybe reverse in the end or conventional swing”.
Meanwhile, the world’s number Test bowler, Pat Cummins and his teammate Mitchell Starc have also spoken on the same lines. Irfan Pathan has mentioned that the pitches should be livelier in the Covid-19 era, so that it provides help to the bowlers.
Harbhajan Singh believes two new balls can be used for 50 overs each in a Test match. Shane Warne has suggested that one side of the ball can be made heavier so that it helps in swinging the ball.
There is no doubt that the bowlers will find it difficult to find swing and it would be a boring contest if the ball continues to travel in a straight line. The bowlers need something to their advantage and the ICC should come with a solution to help the bowlers. In fact, not only the shine helps fast bowlers but it also provides assistance to spinners in drifting the ball.