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‘By only using sweat we don’t know how much it would shine’: India bowling coach on saliva ban

The 57-year-old former India pacer Bharat Arun, though, did not speak much about how banning the use of saliva would impact reverse swing.

SNS | New Delhi |

Indian men’s cricket team bowling coach Bharat Arun has become the latest in the cricket fraternity to join the debate about whether saliva should be banned from using on the ball or not.

Deciding not to take a clear stand, Arun has opined to wait and watch what the International Cricket Council (ICC) decides, but admitted that using only saliva would not help the bowlers much to maintain the shine of the ball.

“We don’t really know the implications since all these years we have been using saliva. We do not know how that ball is going to behave. By only using sweat we don’t know how much it would shine and things like that,” Arun was quoted as saying by The Telegraph on Saturday.

“It all depends on how much shine is there on the ball and the condition of the wicket. If the wicket and the outfield is a little abrasive, the wear and tear on the ball will be a little more, making it even more difficult to maintain the shine. There are a lot of variables in this and we are only presuming things. We will have to wait and see what impact it would have and how the ball would behave,” he added.

The 57-year-old former India pacer, though, did not speak much about how banning the use of saliva would impact reverse swing, one of the most important weapons for a fast bowler with an old ball.

“Using saliva is something the bowlers have been used to for a long time. Now when the players assemble, we have to really work on not using saliva.

“It would be something that would be difficult to monitor but when it’s a rule there’s nothing much you can do about it. It applies for both the teams and we have to abide by it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ICC Cricket Committee, led by former Indian captain Anil Kumble, has suggested the international governing body of cricket to ban the use of saliva in shining the ball. The ICC Board in a meeting on May 28 is likely to take a final call on the matter.