The Indian bowling coach, Bharat Arun reckons that the use of saliva to shine the ball is a “difficult habit” to get over but he won’t mind an “external substance” at its expense if it is used across teams. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee has decided to ban the use of saliva as a part of health safety protocol.
As soon as the ban was announced a lot of former players and coaches opined that the use of external substances should be allowed to shine the ball in order to maintain a balance between the bat and ball. Talking about the same to PTI, Arun said, “As far as the use of the external substance is concerned, as long as it is same and uniform for all the teams, why not try it. Use of saliva will be a very difficult habit to get over but we will make a conscious effort during our training and practice sessions to get rid of this habit.”
In fact, the world’s premier fast bowler and IPL’s costliest foreign recruit Pat Cummins had also spoken in favor of the use of an external substance with saliva being banned.
Cummins explained, “If we remove saliva, we have to have another option. Sweat is not bad, but I think we need something more than that, ideally. Whatever that is, wax or I don’t know what. If that’s what that science is telling us, that it’s high risk using saliva … as long as we’re keeping other options open, whether that’s sweat or something artificial.”
On the other hand, legendary spinner, Shane Warner went on to suggest making one side of the ball heavier to aid swing bowling.
Warner said, “Why can’t the ball be weighted on one side so it always swings? It would be like a taped tennis ball or like with the lawn bowls. You wouldn’t have to worry about anyone tampering with it with bottle tops, sandpaper, or whatever. It would be a good competition between bat and ball.”