With coronavirus lockdown in place in most parts of the world and international cricket suspended, pundits are busy discussing one of the most controversial decisions taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) amidst the pandemic, the temporary ban on saliva use during a match. Former England cricketer Monty Panesar is the latest one to express his opinion on the decision, where he supported the saliva ban but urged ICC to bring an alternative to protect the game from being batsmen dominant. While speaking to news agency ANI, Monty said that he supports the idea of using wax as an alternative to shine the cricket ball.
Panesar while speaking to the news agency said that if ICC doesn’t allow any substance to be used on the ball and it bans saliva too, at the end of the day the game will become more batsmen dominant. Panesar suggested that wax can be tried perhaps in training first before introducing it in Test matches. The former English spinner said that the ban of saliva use will impact the fast bowlers the most, who use it to gain reverse swing by applying it on the shiny side of the ball.
The new rule has attracted a lot of negative flare from cricketers and experts, who believe the decision will impact bowlers’ ability to take wickets. Australian cricketer Steve Smith had expressed his disappointment with the new rule saying that t might tinker with the balance between bat and ball. Former Aussie fast bowler Brett Lee had said that it will be difficult for administrators to implement the rule. However, the ICC is adamant in its decision saying that the rule is here to stay, at least until a vaccine is developed.
ICC ban on saliva
“The ICC Cricket Committee heard from the Chair of the ICC Medical Advisory Committee Dr. Peter Harcourt regarding the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva, and unanimously agreed to recommend that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited. The Committee also noted the medical advice that it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball whilst recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field,” the ICC had said in a release when it announced the temporary ban on the use of saliva during a match.
(With inputs from ANI)