The spread of COVID-19 has largely impacted many sports, including cricket. But whenever healthy life resumes the future of shining a ball would be the biggest question as the International Cricket Council (ICC) has recently issued new guidelines including a ban on usage of saliva.
No wonder the decision from the international apex body has left the bowlers confused who are habitual of using saliva all these years to gain an advantage. In general, cricketers often use their saliva to keep one side of the ball shiny so that the bowlers can generate swing. But now the whole process could change.
Meanwhile, India legend Sachin Tendulkar has dropped a piece of friendly advice to Sri Lankan veteran Lasith Malinga and has asked the fast bowler to change his run-up routine. Malinga is widely popular for his unique bowling action. The right-armer tends to kiss the ball every time before running up to bowl a delivery.
Now, after the latest updates in rules related to shining of the ball, Malinga might have to change his run-up routine. Speaking about the same, Sachin passed a witty comment on his former Mumbai Indians (MI) teammate on Twitter.
Sachin posted a picture of Malinga kissing the ball and wrote: “A certain someone will have to also change his run-up routine with the new @icc rules! What say Mali? #LasithMalinga”.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 23, 2020
In cricket, shining a ball with saliva is a traditional practice, which is entirely legal as well, as long as mints aren’t used to gain an illegitimate benefit. Since the coronavirus is reported to spread via respiratory droplets, ICC came up with a decision to ban the usage of saliva.
Earlier, the Australian cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra came up with an alternative to saliva by developing a wax applicator which will act as a substitute to shine the ball.
Some media reports had also suggested that the ICC is considering the possibility of allowing the use of artificial substances to polish the ball, however, it will be entirely under the supervision of umpires.