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There should be an alternative to using saliva, says Jasprit Bumrah
Ban on Saliva

There should be an alternative to using saliva, says Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah has stressed on the need for discovering an alternative to shining the ball using saliva after the ICC recommended a ban on this practice during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ICC is likely to implement this strict measure when they meet next week following the advice received from the medical panel regarding the risk of COVID-19 transmission through spit.

Additionally, cricket during the virus will forgo the tradition of on-field celebrations and handshakes in order to reduce social contact between players and match officials.

"I was not much of a hugger anyway, and not a high-five person as well, so that doesn't trouble me a lot," Bumrah said on ICC's chat show in a conversation with Ian Bishop and Shaun Pollock.

"The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit," he added.

"I don't know what guidelines we have to follow when we come back, but I feel there should be an alternative.

"If the ball is not well maintained, it's difficult for the bowlers. The grounds are getting shorter and shorter, the wickets are becoming flatter and flatter. So we need something."

With bowlers unable to apply saliva on the ball, the fielding side will run into problems related to the absence of reverse swing.

Fast bowlers will now have to look for other ways of making the ball shiny on one side and leaving the other half rough.

ICC cricket committee chairman Anil Kumble recently stated that the move to ban saliva was only a temporary step as he recognised the importance of reverse swing.

The debate surrounding the dynamics of reverse swing in the age of COVID-19 has also shifted towards permitting certain artificial substances to be rubbed on the ball to get the desired result.

However, this suggestion remains a contentious issue since the menace of ball-tampering is widely condemned by cricket authorities and carries a heavy penalty under the playing regulations.

The most notorious incident over the past couple of years involved star duo Steve Smith and David Warner, who along with opener Cameron Bancroft, were convicted of altering the condition of the ball using sandpaper.