The coronavirus outbreak has seen not just sporting events come to a standstill, but talks are on about life in the post-coronavirus era and one of the biggest talking points has been whether bowlers should be allowed to use sweat and saliva on balls to make them shine and aid swing. While various people have spoken for or against the issue, former India chief selector MSK Prasad feels such techniques to shine the ball should be banned.
Speaking about changes in the rules due to COVID-19, Prasad said on Star Sports’ Telugu show Cricket Connected – Field Gurunchi: “Rules of the game state that external sources cannot be used to shine the ball as it will amount to ball-tampering. So, players were used to using their own sweat, and in most cases, saliva to shine the ball to get it done. But in the current scenario, they should be banned from using this technique and ICC should come up with an alternative route.”
Interestingly, India batsman Shreyas Iyer spoke to IANS about this and said that the law-makers should take the final call as it is important that bowlers also get a fair deal at the end of the day to stay relevant in the game.
“If we are starting, there shouldn’t be any restrictions. As a batsman, I look for the ball to be new and as a bowler, you need the ball to swing so it is kind of equally important for both. And it will be the law-making body’s decision and we will have to abide by that,” he said.
Interestingly, Australia pacer Pat Cummins in a recent interview for Kolkata Knight Riders had said that if the situation is such that applying saliva or sweat to a ball can lead to spread of coronavirus, cricket wouldn’t be starting in the first place. And Shreyas echoes the sentiments.
“Definitely, he is talking as a bowler. From the bowler’s perspective, it is really important to swing the ball as I said. It is important to maintain the ball and if that isn’t there, then there would be no point of playing,” he said.