Cricket Committee head Anil Kumble has confirmed that the saliva ban is only an interim measure during the Covid-19 era. Kumble has hinted that when things will get back to normalcy, the ban will be lifted. The former Indian leg-spinner added that the ICC’s aim is not to allow any external forces to tamper with the ball.
Recently, ICC Cricket committee had decided that the bowlers will not be able to use their saliva on the ball to shine it. However, the bowlers can make use of the sweat. The decision didn’t go down well with some of the former players but the ICC has taken the decision to make sure no medical risks are being taken.
In fact, former Australian opener Matthew Hayden suggested that the bowlers should be allowed to use saliva on the ball if they are virus-free. On the other hand, England captain Joe Root believes the ban will help the bowlers in developing other skills.
Michael Holding feels it makes no sense to ban saliva as the players will be tested for coronavirus and they will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days in their hotels before playing any series.
It is well known that saliva plays a key role in keeping shine on one side of the ball. Thus, it helps the bowlers in conventional and especially reverse swing, when the ball gets old.
However, Kumble has clarified that this is a temporary move during the Covid-19 era as they have to make sure that the governing body is not taking any risks.
Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Kumble said: “We did discuss that, but if you look back at the history of the game, I mean we have been very critical and we have been very focused on eliminating any external substances coming into the game whether you are literally legalising if you are looking to do that now which obviously has had a great impact over the last couple of years.
“ICC took a decision, but then cricket Australia took even a more tougher stance on what happened during that series between South Africa and Australia, so we did consider that but then this is only an interim measure and as long as we have hopefully control over COVID in a few months or a year’s time then I think things will go back to as normal as it can be.”
There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the decisions. In fact, there is no doubt that the ICC will have to take some bold decisions for the safety of the players and umpires. ICC has also mentioned that the players should not make unnecessary contact with each other and there will be no group celebrations.
A lot of things will be happening for the first time during Covid-19 era and the cricket pundits will give their respective opinion but it is ICC’s job to make sure that everything is in the right place. The governing body can not compromise with the safety of the players even though it will come at the cost of some of the conventional rules/laws.