Pakistan coach and selector Misbah-Ul-Haq is the latest expert to comment on the use of saliva to shine the ball. Over the past few days, the debate has intensified over the prohibition of the usage of saliva for the time being.
Besides, the ICC took the step to prevent its contact with the ball as cricket nears its resumption after a long halt due to COVID-19 crisis. While it’s instinctive to apply the same, Misbah-Ul-Haq has pointed out a way that players can avoid it.
The apex body of cricket underlined a plethora of changes, amongst which the glaring one was the ban of saliva on the ball. The use of sweat and saliva is essential for the bowlers to gain some sideways movement and attract some swing to create difficulties for batsmen. However, the current circumstances block its use to prevent health hazards amongst the athletes.
This is habit players have developed: Misbah-Ul-Haq
Misbah recommended that the ICC could make masks mandatory for bowlers so that they don’t apply the saliva by default. He made comparisons to that of driving a car when the driver’s reactions get automated.
“We might have to do something to prevent this. Like making bowlers wear a mask or some other restrictive protection so that they don’t use saliva instinctively. It is like when you keep on driving a car your reactions become automated.” the former Pakistan captain said as quoted by Times Now.
Cricket is not going to be the same again until that time some cure is found to this Coronavirus: Misbah-Ul-Haq
Misbah-Ul-Haq understands that it is a habit developed by the players over the years and that even if the bowlers have it in mind, they might do it instinctively. Hence, it is not going to be easy at all. The 45-year old further stated that the sport could never get back to normal until a cure for the virus is discovered. Hence, he feels that the cricketing brains have to arrange matches slowly but with diligence.
“It is not going to be easy at all (bowling without applying saliva). This is habit players have developed since the start of their cricket. Even if a player keeps in mind the new restrictions somewhere he might act instinctively,” Misbah-Ul-Haq stated.
“Whether we like it or not cricket is not going to be the same again until that time some cure is found to this Coronavirus. So we need to get back to playing cricket but slowly and carefully. The players also need to realise it is not going to be easy for them in changed conditions.” Misbah-Ul-Haq added.