‘Alternative’ to saliva on cricket ball

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New Delhi

Indian paceman Jasprit Bumrah said cricket should seek an ‘alternative’ for shining the ball if the game’s governing body ban the use of saliva during the coronavirus pandemic. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is likely to implement a ban for the game’s return when they meet next week after receiving medical advice that spit poses a COVID-19 transmission risk. Handshakes, celebratory high-fives and hugs are also likely to be off-limits when international cricket resumes with safety protocols in place. ‘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 in an ICC video chat with the former West Indies pace bowler Ian Bishop and the ex-captain of South Africa, Shaun Pollock. ‘The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit,’ added the 26-year-old Bumrah. ‘I don’t know what guidelines that 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.’ Pace bowlers usually try to make the ball swing through the air by shining one side on their clothing aided by using sweat or saliva and leaving the other half to become scuffed..—APP