The ICC is planning to allow use of an artificial substance to shine the ball as respiratory droplets is one of the ways Covid-19 virus spreads.
The International Cricket Council is mulling on using an artificial substance under the supervision of umpires to polish cricket balls as applying saliva on balls could risk the spread of the novel coronavirus, as per media reports.
The ICC is planning to use the artificial substance, which is banned in cricket as it leads to ball-tampering, as respiratory droplets is one of the ways for the virus to transmit.
The use of saliva helps bowlers to shine the ball on one side to make it reverse swing. This allows a fair balance of contest between the ball and the bat when after initial overs of the play.
“They (authorities) are open to the option of allowing for the use of an agreed artificial substance to polish the ball under the supervision of the umpires – in the fashion they currently allow the ball to be cleaned by players under supervision. This would effectively allow for what is currently considered ball-tampering, in the interests of health and safety,” a report in ESPNcricinfo said.
When is it likely to be discussed
“The two major groups likely to discuss the issue before cricket returns are the ICC cricket committee, set to meet via video conference in late May or early June, and also the MCC’s world cricket committee, which canceled its most recent meeting, scheduled for Colombo in Sri Lanka in late March,” the report further read.
What bowlers have to say
Earlier, former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie also advised that the use of saliva to shine the ball is not a hygienic process.
“I don’t think it’s a quirky question. It’s an actual genuine thing to be considered. I don’t think anything is off the table. It could be a point where at the end of each over, the umpires allow the players to shine the ball in front of them but you can only do it then,” Gillespie told ABC Grandstand.
“I don’t know. Is it just sweat? Can you only use sweat?. I don’t have an answer to that but it certainly will be a conversation that will be had. If you think about it, it is pretty gross,” he said.
India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar had also said his team would follow medical advice before applying saliva to balls during their ODI meetings with South Africa, which was called off due to the worldwide lockdown amidst coronavirus outbreak.
Source: The Hindu – Business Line