The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricket Committee Chairman Anil Kumble on Wednesday explained the committee’s proposal to ban the usage of saliva on the ball. In the wake of the pandemic, the committee has proposed that the ban of saliva be banned in order to keep the players and officials safe.
But while the ban of saliva was always on the cards, there were expectations that the committee might recommend the use of any other artificial substance in order to help the players keep the shine on the ball. However, the Cricket Committee has surprisingly decided against it.
And on Tuesday, Anil Kumble explained the reason behind it. The legendary bowler stated that the use of any artificial substance has not been proposed as that has been the custom all along. He also insisted that cricket has an advantage over other sports in the sense that the pitch can be prepared in such a way where bat-ball balance is maintained.
“Our intention was to start cricket. We can’t call it normal but then this is the new normal that all of us need to get used to,” Anil Kumble said during a webinar organised by FICCI called Sporting Events: Embracing the New Normal.
“Safety and security of players is a major concern and with that in mind, and based on medical advice we believe saliva could be the major contributor to carrying this disease.
“So we banned the use of saliva although it is second nature in cricket. That is why players will find it hard to manage. In training, they will have to start slowly. It’s not just about coming back and playing but also about coming back after two and half months of lockdown.
“Especially if you are a bowler, you need to have those bowling overs under your belt before you start competing. So it’s important you slowly and gradually comeback to normalcy as much as you can.
“The advantage that cricket has over other sports is that there is an element of an adjustable variance in the pitch which not many sports have.
“We at cricket committee believe if you want better balance between bat and ball..all these years we have been very stringent on what to use and what not to use on the ball..but to again go back and relax that was something that we felt at cricket committee we should not do.
“In cricket, you could manage the pitch in such a way that you could bring about a better balance between the bat and the ball. The idea was to kickstart cricket. There will be challenges and you have to go one game at a time,” added the 49-year old.
If everything goes well, international cricket will resume next month with the three-match Test series between England and West Indies. The ECB announced the schedule for the series earlier this week. As far as Team India is concerned, the players are expected to return to training later this month.