Ball-tampering may be legalised in wake of Covid-19 crisis: Report

Dubai, April 24 (IANS) Two years after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were handed suspensions for their respective roles in the infamous Cape Town scandal, cricket could see ball-tampering being legalised in the wake of coronavirus pandemic that has stalled the entire world.

According to an ESPNCricinfo report, the officials are considering the use of artificial substances to shine the ball in order to keep the players away from using saliva.

“The problem posed by the use of saliva to polish the ball is understood to be among the items raised by the ICC’s medical committee to be addressed before cricket can resume, meaning that lateral thinking is required to allow bowlers and teams to continue to find effective ways to shine the ball to help encourage conventional or reverse swing,” the ESPNCricinfo report stated.

Over 2.7 million people have been infected by the virus while in excess of 1.9 lakh individuals have lost their lives worldwide. Droplets of infected person is contagious and the officials are looking to completely do away with the use of saliva during matches.

Earlier, during the pre-match press conference ahead of first T20I against South Africa — which was eventually washed out — India fast-bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar had raised concerns regarding the same.

“We have thought about this thing (not using saliva) but I can’t say right now we will not use saliva because if we don’t use saliva then how will we shine the ball? Then we will get hit and you people will say you are not bowling well,” Bhuvneshwar had said in March.

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar had also about spoken about stopping the use of saliva for shining balls as a precautionary measure.

“I don’t think that one can apply saliva on the ball now, we as bowlers apply saliva on the ball to make the ball shinier. The ball goes in the hands of everyone on the park. I saw a report of the ICC which said bowlers would not be able to apply saliva on the ball,” Akhtar had said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.

“Cricket is a game which requires contact, if ICC is thinking about passing the law related to applying saliva on the ball, then I welcome the decision keeping coronavirus in mind,” he added.

–IANS

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