Wasim Akram, former Pakistan legendary seamer, has warned that the International Cricket Council’s latest move to ban the usage of saliva on the ball in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.
According to Wasim Akram, if the fast bowlers aren’t allowed to use saliva to generate reverse-swing, then they will be reduced to mere robots.
Akram’s comments come after the ICC officially ratified the ban on the usage of saliva during its meeting.
“It will make bowlers robots, coming and bowling without a swing,” Wasim Akram told AFP.
Akram, who was one of the pioneers when it comes to revolutionizing reverse-swing in the early 90s, said that bowlers will have to be patient and hope for the ball to get rough in order to generate swing.
“It’s a quizzical situation for me as I grew up using saliva to shine the ball and to swing it. I am all for precautions in these tough times, so bowlers have to wait for the ball to get old and rough for them to get a swing,” he added.
Wasim Akram bats for the use of the artificial substance on a cricket ball in the wake of saliva ban
Unlike saliva, bowlers are allowed to use sweat on the ball but Akram feels that it is not the desired solution as an excess amount of sweat will leave the ball too wet.
“Sweat is just something of an add-on, a top-up. Too much use of sweat will leave the cricket ball too wet,” he said.
The legendary bowler reckoned that the ICC must consider allowing artificial substances like vaseline in order to help the bowlers shine the ball and generate reverse-swing.
“I believe that they will need to find a reasonable solution. Artificial substances like vaseline could be used to swing the ball but how much of it” Akram suggested.
International cricket is set to resume with England taking on West Indies in a three-match Test series, and Akram reckoned that the rubber will be a good indicator as far as new playing conditions is concerned.
“Let’s see, we have this England versus the West Indies series to judge how it goes, because I have never experienced this thing. When can you tamper the ball? Right from the first over or after 20-25 overs? They will need to sit down and do brainstorming. The game is already tilted more in favor of the batsmen.” Akram concluded.