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‘Needs to be a maintaining of the even contest,’ Mitchell Starc on saliva ban

Mitchell Starc said that in the post-COVID-19 world the curators should be asked to create a greener wicket and the shining wax should also be allowed.

SNS | New Delhi |

Australia pacer Mitchell Starc on Tuesday supported the ICC’s plan to ban the usage of saliva on the ball but campaigned for an alternative substance to shine the ball and maintained that an “even contest” between the bat and the ball was required.

“I understand that completely and hear what they are saying in terms of a foreign substance, but whether that can be controlled by the umpires in terms of they have a portion of the wax and you can only use a small amount, I don’t know, but there needs to be a maintaining of the even contest,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Starc as saying.

“I understand what they’re saying with foreign substances and that it’s black and white in terms of that, but it’s an unusual time for the world and if they’re going to remove saliva shining for a portion of time they need to think of something else for that portion of time as well,” he added.

ICC during its meeting last month had discussed 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.

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.

In his attempt to urge the decision-maker to make cricket a more even contest, Starc said that in the post-COVID-19 world the curators should be asked to create a greener wicket and the shining wax should also be allowed.

“Whether it be the wickets being not as flat or at least considering this shining wax to a degree, there needs to be some thought on that I think. I guess you use both those things saliva and sweat to shine the ball. I’ve probably been a bit more on the sweat side, just trying to not get my hands in my mouth too much.

“They’ve mentioned that it’s only going to be there for a period of time and then once the world gets back to a relatively normal situation then saliva can come back into shining the ball. But if it’s going to be a window of time there, maybe then instruct people to leave more grass on the wickets to have that contest,” the 30-year-old said.