Cricket is gearing up to return to action after a prolonged break due to the ongoing global Coronavirus pandemic, but the new rules and regulations for the safety and well-being of the players and everyone associated with the game could make it challenging amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Recently, International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Committee headed by Anil Kumble has recommended a ban on the usage of saliva for polishing or nurturing the cricket ball due to the fear of the COVID-19 spread, but the players can use sweat to polish the ball.
Amid the talks of cricket’s return, the latest suggestion has created fresh headaches to fast bowlers especially seamers with many suggesting different options to solve the issue while Australia pacer Pat Cummins called for an alternate option to strike the balance between bat and ball.
Now, former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta has come out with his opinion regarding the same, saying it is very difficult to replace saliva, which is a very important part of cricket, especially the bowlers' armory, and ICC must find a way to solve it before the resumption of cricket post-pandemic.
Dasgupta told India Today, “It's a very important part of bowlers' armory. From that perspective, it is a big thing. So how they will adapt that is something we'll have to wait and see. Having said that obviously it is a big thing. Well, they have to find a way. That is a possibility. See saliva is such a versatile tool. You're talking about changing balls so that it can make a difference to fast bowlers.
The commentator further explained, “Now then what happens to the spinners when they play outside the sub-continent. I can understand it will help the fast bowlers, even to the spinners to some extent. Very difficult to replace saliva. It helps you in normal swing, it helps you in the reverse swing. Even the drift for the spinners, that part being there it will obviously affect the bowlers. I can't think of anything else that can replace saliva. Ban of saliva is not really going to affect the batsman and the wicketkeepers.”
He signed off by saying, “It will not affect the skill part of the side for a batsman. We will have to be careful. Saliva has been such an important part of cricket. When a batsman hits the ball a fielder fields it and shines it using saliva. It's in muscle memory, it's a natural process. It has always been such an influencing part of sports, so getting it out of the system is going to be a tough one,”
(With India Today Inputs)