Anil Kumble tip to counter no-saliva measure
Anil Kumble, chairman of the ICC cricket committee, said that that recommendation to ban the application of saliva on the ball is only an interim measure as normality will be restored once the Covid-19 pandemic gets under control.
“This is only an interim measure and as long as we have hopefully control over Covid-19 in a few months or a year’s time, then I think things will go back to as normal as it can be,” Kumble said during Star Sports programme Cricket Connected.
“If things get back to normal within three-four months and we are able to stage matches like we used to do in February and March, then these rules won’t apply. As long as the medical advisory doesn’t change, the rule will stay,” the former India leg-spinner and Test captain added.
The spin legend, however, did acknowledge the bowler’s dependence on saliva. “Of course, we all know saliva has been a part and parcel of cricket for so many years.
“As bowlers, we used to apply saliva on ball and sometimes for grip also, we applied saliva. But with this disease, it can also be asymptomatic. That is why we decided to ban it,” he explained.
The ban on saliva has brought mixed response from the bowlers, who said it would definitely come in the way of generating swing.
Discussions have also taken place on whether the ICC would allow usage of external substances like wax to shine the ball.
Kumble said there certainly were discussions on usage of external substances, but “using wax is not allowed.”
“We have never used external substances. We can use sweat. Everyone is talking about how it will affect the pacers, so grass should be left.
“But why not leave it dry and play two spinners?” he asked.