Former Indian cricketer, and legend of the game, and present chairman of ICC's Cricket Committee, Anil Kumble, on Sunday, explained why the governing body did not consider any alternative to saliva to shine the ball. Kumble cited the infamous ball-tampering scandal of 2018 in explaining his point.
It was last Monday that ICC prohibited the use of saliva to shine the ball as part of a preventive measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus. While no alternative to saliva was considered, the committee also saw no health hazard in using sweat to shine the ball.
Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Kumble said that the committee was focussed on eliminating any use of external substances to shine the ball. Kumble also talked about the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in 2018, which helped ICC take the stance. But the veteran cricketer did clarify that the measure is only an interim one and that normalcy will resume once COVID-19 situation improves. (Also Read | Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee recommends prohibition on use of saliva to shine the ball)
Kumble said, “We did discuss that but if you look back at the history of the game, I mean we have been very critical and we have been very focused on eliminating any external substances coming into the game whether you are literally legalising if you are looking to do that now which obviously has had a great impact over the last couple of years. ICC took a decision but then cricket Australia took, even a more tougher stance on what happened during that series between South Africa and Australia, so we did consider that but then this is only an interim measure and as long as we have hopefully control over COVID in a few months or a year’s time then I think things will go back to as normal as it can be.”
Earlier on Saturday, speaking to Star Sport, former cricketer Brett Lee hailed ICC's no saliva rule nut reckoned that it would be hard to implement it given that players have been habituated with its use over the years. (READ HERE)
Lee said, “When you have done something your whole life from 8,9, 10 years of age where you lick your fingers and you put on the ball, it’s very hard to change that overnight too. So, I think there’s going to be a couple of occasions, or there’s going to be some leniency I think from the ICC, where there may be warnings. It’s a great initiative, it’s going to be very hard to implement I think, because cricketers have done this for their whole life.”