Bowlers around the world will have to get used to the new rule of not applying saliva when cricket finally resumes in the coming days. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, ICC’s Cricket Committee has proposed the ban of saliva for the safety of the players and officials on the field.
The decision has invited a widespread debate with most of the players making it clear they are not very impressed with it. Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur has now given his two cents on the decision. The former Australia, South Africa and Pakistan coach said the bowlers are tying to get used to not applying saliva on cricket balls during their training sessions.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had earlier announced that a select squad of 13 players will undergo a 12-day ‘Residential Training Camp’ at the Colombo Cricket Club starting Monday. Following the first few sessions, Mickey Arthur has made an interesting observation.
The South African has revealed bowlers have told him that applying sweat on the ball makes it a bit heavier in comparison to saliva.
“It was interesting chatting to the bowlers, who said sweat made the ball a little bit heavier than saliva did,” Mickey Arthur told ESPNcricinfo.
“Saliva was their preferred mechanism of shining the ball. But it is what it is now, you’ve just got to get on with it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Cricket Committee headed by Anil Kumble has said players can use sweat to polish the ball. The committee had noted that the risk of spread of the virus through sweat is highly unlikely and saw no need to prohibit the practice.
“Because I’m on the [ICC] cricket committee, I do know the debates and the chats that went around the recommendation to avoid using saliva on the ball — though you can use sweat on the ball because it’s been proven that sweat is not a real threat,” Mickey Arthur said.
“The consensus in that committee meeting was: ‘Oh, well, if you can put sweat on, then it’s ok. It’s almost the same’,” he added.