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Sports

May 6, 2020

Waqar Younis says banning use of saliva will 'take shine away' from cricket

Sports

Wed, May 06, 2020
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KARACHI: Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis said prohibiting use of saliva or sweat to polish the cricket ball will "take the shine away" from cricket and ICC must allow some alternate if such a ban has to take place.

Talking to Geo.tv on Tuesday, Waqar added that bowlers are habitual of using their saliva or sweat to shine the ball and it won’t be easy for them to change such a habit overnight.

The former Pakistan captain added that to keep the fair balance between the bat and the ball, it is important to have something 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,” said Waqar.

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 need to stop players from using saliva or sweat to shine the ball,” he 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,” said Waqar.