After the corona virus epidemic stops wrecking havoc and the cricket action returns to the stadium, bowlers will not be able to shine the ball with their saliva. According to an ESPN Cricinfo report, administrators are considering an option to allow the use of synthetic material to shine the ball under the supervision of umpires. However, this is subject to ball tampering under the rules of the game.
In other words, ball tampering may be termed legal. Bowlers used to shine the ball which generated swing but this may become history when cricket starts after the Covid 19 pandemic.
The brightness of the ball is very important in Test cricket as it helps bowlers generate swing and reverse swing. If the rule of tampering becomes legal, it would be ironic because Steve Smith and David Warner had to face a one-year ban in 2018 while trying to rub sandpaper on the ball in the test series against South Africa.
Although an ICC official said that no such discussion has been held yet but agreed that the governing body will disallow the use of saliva on the ball. The ICC Medical Committee had said that shining the ball with saliva can prove dangerous and the issue will be considered before cricket starts.
Following the online meeting of the ICC chief executives on Thursday, its medical committee chief Peter Harcourt released the update. The update noted that ICC’s next step is to prepare a roadmap for the restoration of international cricket. Harcourt said that it will include the government’s restrictions and guidelines from the players’ preparation.
Former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad supported the proposal of not to using saliva on the ball. He said that once the game is restored, only sweat should be used for some time, because the safety of the players is very important.