Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh believes the pitches should be made such that they aid bowlers once the players get back on the field after the pandemic situation improves. The Australian government has banned the use of saliva and sweat in the aftermath of coronavirus.
The International Cricket Council is also contemplating to enforce the same. In fact, the governing body is thinking of legalising ball tampering as the bowlers would not be able to shine the ball with their sweat and saliva. Former players like Michael Holding and Waqar Younis had disagreed with the idea of legalising ball-tampering. In fact, David Warner also voted against banning the use of saliva and sweat.
Meanwhile, it is well known that cricket laws are slightly tilted in favour of the batsman. If the bowler won’t be able to shine one side of the ball, he won’t be able to produce the reverse swing. Thus, it is going to make the bowler’s life more difficult and he won’t have any wood on the batsman.
In such a case, Harbhajan Singh wants the pitches to provide help to the bowlers if use of saliva and sweat is banned by ICC. If the pitches will not provide any assistance to the bowlers, then Harbhajan feels the poor bowlers will be like bowling machines and it would only be a batsman’s game.
Harbhajan Singh said while talking to Hindustan Times, “The nature of Covid-19 is intense and is here to stay. If cricket resumes in the near future, I think the ban on saliva and sweat will be here to stay. It will be very, very difficult for bowlers. In this scenario, pitches should be made (in a way) that a bowler can get some help. I mean if a bowler cannot even shine the ball to improve his bowling, he should at least not be given paata (flat) wickets. If this is not done, the bowlers will be reduced to a bowling machine. It will then become only a batsman’s game”.
It is not going to be easy for the bowlers if they can not use sweat or saliva. However, there is no doubt that the authorities will need to come up with the right guidelines once we take steps to get back to cricketing action.
In fact, there is still a lot of uncertainty over what should be done or what shouldn’t be done amid the Covid-19 situation. Hence, it would be crucial for the ICC to take all the things into consideration before coming to a conclusion. All the decisions are expected to be taken keeping in mind the safety of the players.
Written by: Gautam Chauhan