Cricket ban on using saliva to shine ball will only be temporary

Ban on use of spit by fielding side part of efforts to resume sport during Covid-19 crisis

The ICC have confirmed a ban on using saliva to shine the ball will only be temporary. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty

The ICC have confirmed a ban on using saliva to shine the ball will only be temporary. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty

 

A recommendation banning the use of saliva to shine a cricket ball when the sport resumes after the novel coronavirus shutdown is only a temporary measure, Anil Kumble, the chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Cricket Committee, has said.

Cricketers have used the age-old method of shining one side of the ball with a combination of saliva and sweat to help bowlers generate more movement in the air as it travels towards the batsman.

However, as part of efforts aimed at minimising the risk of spreading the virus, the governing body’s cricket committee has recommended the ban on using spit.

“We have been very critical and we have been very focused on eliminating any external substances coming into the game,” former India leg-spinner Kumble said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected.

“This is only an interim measure and as long as we have hopefully control over Covid in a few months or a year’s time then I think things will go back to as normal as it can be.”

Australia quick Pat Cummins has said cricket’s lawmakers should approve the use of an artificial substance to shine the ball if the ban on saliva was enacted, while compatriot Josh Hazlewood has said it would difficult to police such a ban.

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