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Wednesday May 06 2020

Waqar Younis urges ICC not to rush into banning saliva, sweat to shine ball

KARACHI: Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis said Tuesday banning the use of saliva or sweat to polish the cricket ball will take the shine off cricket and ICC must allow some alternate substance of any such ban has to take place.

Talking to from Australia, Waqar added that bowlers use their saliva or sweat to shine the ball as a habit and it won’t be easy for them to change it overnight.

The former Pakistan captain added that to keep a fair balance between the bat and the ball, it is important that there has to be something that allows bowlers to shine the ball.

“If you’re not able to shine the ball, then there will be no balance in the contest between bat and ball and it will take the shine away from the game,” Waqar said.

The cricket world is discussing the possibility of banning the use of saliva or sweat to shine the ball on medical grounds in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which can be transmitted through respiratory droplets.

While ICC is reportedly considering such moves, the Australian government has already prohibited the use of saliva and sweat to shine the cricket ball under its guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Waqar said he doesn’t completely disagree with this suggestion but feels that the cricketing world shouldn’t rush towards the decision.

“I hope this doesn’t stay forever, so let's hope things get normal soon and we have some vaccine to counter the coronavirus, and once we have the vaccine, then I don’t think there will be a need to stop players from using saliva or sweat to shine the ball,” Waqar said.

“Bowlers have been doing this for ages, this is habitual. You just can’t change it easily and even if there is any such situation, then you need to provide an alternate substance to be used on the ball to shine it,” said the Pakistan bowling coach.

He further added that a substance should be introduced only after proper research so that beauty of cricket also stays intact.

The current ICC rules don’t allow any artificial substances to be applied to the ball. However, the council is now mulling to allow something on the ball to keep the shine.

“See, if you’re unable to shine the ball, then it will automatically go out of shape after a few overs and bowlers won’t be able to take anything from that,” Waqar said.