onBan use of saliva only an interim measure to fight COVID-19: Anil Kumble

Tags: India, Anil Kumble

Published on: May 25, 2020

The ban on use of saliva on the cricket ball has elicited a mixed response from various quarters of the cricketing circle. However, head of the ICC's Cricket Committee, Anil Kumble has stated that the recommendation of the ban by the panel had to be made considering the various risks posed to the game in the post COVID-19 era.

Kumble also added that the ban on use of saliva is only a temporary measure, and that things should be back to old when the situation with relation to Coronavirus improves in the times to come. The former India captain also admitted that they discussed the 2018 Cape Town Test ball-tampering scandal while considering the use of an external subsance to shine the ball.

"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-19 in a few months or a year’s time then I think things will go back to as normal as it can be,” Kumble said while speaking to Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’

ICC in its 'Back to cricket guidelines' released recently has stated that saliva should not be used on the ball to prevent spread of coronavirus and admitted that it is likely to ban the use of saliva on the ball in the near future.

Accoring to former Australia pacer Brett Lee, despite the new ICC guidelines, it will be very difficult for bowlers to refrain from shining the ball with saliva as they have been so used to it.

"When you have done something your whole life from 8,9,10 years of age where you lick your fingers and you put on the ball, it's very hard to change that overnight too," Lee admitted on Star Sports show 'Cricket Connected'

"So, I think there's going to be a couple of occasions, or there's going to be some leniency I think from the ICC, where there may be warnings. It's a great initiative,it's going to be very hard to implement I think, because cricketers have done this for their whole life," the Aussie added.

On the same show, former South African captain Faf Du Plessis revealed that he has a habit of using spit on his fingers before catching the ball in the slips. "For the fielders, it's the same. As Brett mentions, I'm used to taking a bit of spit on my fingers before I catch the ball at slip. If you look at someone like Ricky Ponting, he has a big spit on his hands every time he tried to catch a ball," Du Plessis explained on the same show.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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