• Sunday, Jul 05, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:33 am

Spit and polish no more when cricket returns

  • Published at 09:21 pm June 6th, 2020
Bangladesh's Shakib al Hasan shines the ball during their Champions Trophy 2017 match against New Zealand in Cardiff Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik
Ban on using saliva to shine the ball will have an impact on the bowlers, but it will be felt more in Test cricket compared to the limited-over formats, believes Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal
It is strongly believed that the post-corona world will have a massive change in social behavior and going to affect the sports arena too. 

The virus has put a halt to the sports world and when it eventually returns, will surely have changes as far as hygiene on the field or area of play is concerned.

In cricket the era of "spit and polish" the ball is likely to see an end when the game returns after the pandemic. 

Usage of saliva is done to shine one side of the ball by the fielding team to help the ball swing, a standard operating procedure in the game until the coronavirus intervened.

New ways are being thought of as replacement to the unhygienic way of shining the ball.

As of now, the International Cricket Council last week circulated "guidelines on return to cricket", the regulations which are to be followed once the game returns to the field. 

When this report was filed Saturday only England and the West Indies had confirmed a bilateral series between them in July and the new norms will be seen active through this series.

As per reports, the England and Wales Cricket Board is in discussion with ICC with regards to allowing coronavirus player substitutions in it’s scheduled three-match Test series against the visiting West Indies.

The guidelines from the governing body of world cricket doesn’t limit to that of shining the ball with spit but also how the players and others in the game should behave when it comes to body contact while usage of shared stuffs between the players, let be it a water bottle or a towel, has been discouraged. 

The ICC recommended using sweat to shine the ball instead of the saliva.

Ban on using saliva to shine the ball will have an impact on the bowlers, but it will be felt more in Test cricket compared to the limited-over formats, believes Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal.

“I think the ban on saliva and sweat will surely have an impact on Test cricket as it has been a major part of the bowler’s preparation for a long time. See, as a batsman I have my own preparation just before batting such as the trigger movement and shining the ball with saliva or sweat is the preparation for the bowlers before a delivery,” said Tamim to the media Saturday.

“I can’t say how much it is going to affect the seamers or the spinners and being a batsman, I can tell that it won’t make a huge difference in the limited-over formats. In limited-over cricket the shine of the ball goes away even after five-six overs nowadays but in Test cricket keeping the ball shiny for longer period is very important for the bowling side,” Tamim added.

Tamim however, believes that normalcy will return to cricket again once the world recovers from the virus.

“Look, we all are aware of the threat of this virus and we have to follow the hygiene properly for our safety as well. We need to remain clean and strictly follow everything in the dressing room as well. I really think the upcoming England-West Indies series will be crucial and we will also get a good idea when cricket finally returns to the field. I think it will take some time to get things back to normal,” said Tamim.
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