India pacer Mohit Sharma on Sunday said that he would not have any problem using sweat instead of saliva to shine the ball at a time when the officials of cricket are contemplating to restrict the use of body fluids and legalise ball tampering in the wake of novel coronavirus.
“It will be interesting to see what decision is made. Every bowler has their personal choices in this matter. I don’t use a lot of saliva for shining the ball, in fact, these days umpires don’t let bowlers use too much saliva. I would be okay with using sweat as well to shine the ball.” Sharma said during an Instagram Live session on the official handle of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals.
Earlier, an ESPNcricinfo report had stated that the officials were considering the use of artificial substances like vaseline to shine the ball in order to keep the players away from using saliva and sweat to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Veteran Indian cricketers Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra had stated that saliva and sweat are the required components to maintain the shine of the ball.
“Get one thing clear at the onset. The ball will not swing if you don’t apply sweat or saliva on the ball. That’s a basic necessity of swing bowling. The moment ball gets scuffed up from one side, sweat and saliva must be applied on the other side,” Nehra, who completely shot down the idea of using external substances, told PTI.
Explaining the need to use saliva and sweat, the 2011 World Cup-winning pacer said that both were used to not only shine the ball but to make one side of it heavier as well which helps the ball to reverse swing. And according to him, the vaseline doesn’t do that.
“It (vaseline) is lighter and doesn’t even ensure conventional swing. It can keep the shine but doesn’t make the ball heavy,” Nehra added.
Harbhajan also agreed that saliva if one has already chewed mint, which has sugar in it, makes it heavier. But when it comes to using an external substance, he wants to know what can be the options.
“It’s not that murray mint can be used without putting it in your mouth. The coat of sugar on the saliva makes it heavier after one side gets scuffed. A scuffed-up ball is also good for spinners as it ensures a better grip than a shiny new ball. But my question is, if you allow, what’s the limit?