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Which way will it swing now?

Which way will it swing now?

Which way will it swing now?

The International Cricket Council (ICC) recommendation on a ban on saliva to shine a cricket ball could be a thing of the past when cricket resumes. This is a hygiene precaution to combat the danger of transmitting the coronavirus.

Sweat versus saliva

The committee, chaired by former Indian spinner Anil Kumble, unanimously agreed to recommend a ban on saliva although players will still be allowed to use their own sweat to try and achieve the reverse swing. The ICC Cricket Committee saw no health hazard in continuing with the use of sweat.

Kumble said, “We are living through extraordinary times and the recommendations the committee have made today are interim measures to enable us to safely resume cricket in a way that preserves the essence of our game.”

CRICKETERS USED OLD AGE TRICK OF SALIVA TO SHINE THE BALL

Cricketers have long used saliva and sweat to shine one side of the ball while allowing the other to become increasingly scuffed over the course of an innings.
The technique alters the aerodynamics of the ball, allowing pace bowlers to generate movement in the air.

Shane Warne previously suggested using weighted balls to help pace bowlers generate swing without risking health. The Australian cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra said it is “developing a wax applicator to enhance shine and aid swing.”

ICC MEDICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE AGREES

The ICC 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.

The ICC unanimously agreed to recommend that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited. The bowlers can however still continue using sweat to shine the ball as its not a virus transmitter.

The ICC said, “The committee saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat as it is unlikely the virus can be transmitted that way. The recommendations would be presented to its Chief Executives Committee for approval in early June.”

SALIVA BAN WILL OPEN DEBATE IN THE CRICKET WORLD

The use of saliva to shine the cricket ball is primarily meant for swing bowling. The practice is now being seen as a health risk in a world battling the pandemic.
The ICC recommendation of banning the use of saliva as a safety measure has opened the floor for a hot debate in the cricket community. Michael Holding and Waqar Younis, considered bowling greats, have already expressed their aversion to the idea.

This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.

 

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