It is reported that ICC is “open to the option of allowing for the use of an agreed artificial substance to polish the ball under the supervision of the umpires”. This would directly result in ball-tampering which is unlawful according to the current ICC rules.
Bowlers are wary of applying saliva on the cricket ball resumes after the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to support them, it is expected that there can be legalization over usage of artificial substances to polish the cricket ball which is currently considered as ball tempering.
Shining the ball is an integral part of Test cricket. It helps the bowlers to swing the ball both ways. It is a traditional practice for the bowlers to use saliva to shine the ball. However, the practice is unsafe now as the CoronaVirus spreads through the medium of spits and droplets. Therefore, the ICC’s medical committee has raised the issue of saliva being unsafe. They have decided to address the same before cricket resumes.
It would be quite ironic for ICC if the move gets the go-ahead as the cricket administrators banned Steve Smith and David Warner for using an artificial substance (sandpaper) to alter the ball during the 2018 ball-tampering controversy
On Thursday, ICC’s s medical committee’s head Peter Harcourt shared an update on the same after the chief executives meeting.
“Our next step is to create a roadmap for the resumption of international cricket. It will include criteria for decision making and a checklist for what needs to happen. This will consider everything from player preparation to government restrictions and advisories and bio-bubbles,” Harcourt said.
Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood recently said that Test cricket will become harder if the bowlers did not have enough means to move the ball. He said, “I think the white ball would be fine, (but) Test cricket would be very hard. Bowlers rely on any sort of sideways movement in the air.”