Opinion: How ICC Can Allow 'Sweat Or Saliva' Despite Covid-19 Threat

Opinion: How ICC Can Allow ‘Sweat Or Saliva’ Despite Covid-19 Threat

Use of saliva has been banned by the ICC (Photo-Getty)

The novel coronavirus pandemic has opened up new dimensions to cricket. It is perhaps, history in the making, if the deadly virus is not eradicated soon and re-occurs, unlike Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The idea to polish the ball with ‘sweat’ might be considered but ‘saliva’ will be out of question with the Covid-19 threat at place. The sport being resumed behind closed doors and played in a ‘bio-secure’ environment are the new added dimensions to the sport.

A new term ‘bio-bubble‘ has also dominated the sporting ecosystem and could be useful to help the global governing council resume the sport with ‘sweat or saliva’ in use. Veterans and greats of the game are not fully convinced with the eradication of the natural substances which are long in use and helps the ball reverse swing. However, with safety and health, the first and foremost priority it might be a mandate in the post Covid-19 world.

Opinion: How ICC Can Allow 'Sweat Or Saliva' Despite Covid-19 Threat

Let us understand the ‘bio-bubble’ first

For the uninitiated, a ‘bio-bubble’ is an environment locked and completely sealed from the outside world. In the upcoming days, it might be well seen in use. It will help the staffs, cricketers and umpires, cut-off from the outside world and remain stationed at a designated environment.

The area under ‘bio-bubble’ will be tested first and a limited number of people will be allowed, minimizing the risk of the Covid-19. It is, however, not cent per cent full-proof but the best possible way to withstand the disease.

How ICC with added measures can allow usage of ‘sweat or saliva’

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli shining the ball (Credits: ESPNCricinfo)

To adapt to playing cricket without the use of natural substance will be tough ask for the professional who have been using it since the beginning of their career. It is not convincing as well, but the only method to contain the disease. However, there could be a possibility to allow ‘sweat and saliva’ to polish the ball, if certain things are considered.

The ‘bio-bubble’ environment comes as a added benefit to these measures. The teams participating in a series can decide the eleven they will field a few days ahead of the match and notify it to the officials. These players can be kept under special supervision of medical staffs and specialists, ensuring they have no symptoms of Covid-19. Regular tests can be carried out throughout this time and before the match. Only after frequent tests and measures to withstand the deadly virus have been taken, and the results show that no player is under threat, teams can be allowed to use ‘sweat or saliva’ in a match played at a bio-bubble’ secured environment.

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion piece and has nothing against the recommendations proposed by the governing council. At the time of a pandemic situation, health and safety should always be the primary concern, but the proposal made through the article can be taken as an argument or possibility in near future)