Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, when asked whether teams will use saliva on cricket ball after the world comes back to normal, said, “It is something that needs to be discussed”. The whole sporting action across the world has come to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is perhaps the right time to contemplate as to what will happen to cricket’s oldest traditions once the sport returns to action.
One tradition only specific to cricket is of applying ”saliva” on the ball to assist the bowlers to get the swing.
Shining the ball is a major thing for bowlers in trying to extract some swing from the pitch. As the game starts swaying in favour of batsmen by each passing day, bowlers have to try everything they can in trying to trouble the batsmen.
“I think the white ball would be fine, but Test cricket would be very hard. Bowlers rely on any sort of sideways movement in the air. If you didn’t maintain the ball at all for 80 overs it would be quite easy to bat after that initial shine has gone,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Hazlewood as saying.
“Whether you use saliva or sweat, maybe one person can do it. I’m not sure. It’s something that will have to be talked about when we get back out there and hopefully come up with a solution,” he added.
Earlier this year, even India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was skeptical of using saliva on the ball ahead of the ODI series against South Africa.
“We are taking every precaution we can. We have a team of doctors with us, who are advising us on dos and don’ts. We have a meeting with our doctors. If they advise us to not use saliva on the ball, then we will follow it. So, it all depends upon the instructions given by the doctor,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar had said during a press conference earlier this year.
Right now, no sport is being played as all top tournaments like IPL, Premier League, LA Liga have been suspended and there is no certain answer as to when all these competitions will resume.
Wimbledon 2020 has been cancelled for the first time since World War II and Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for the first time.
The World Health Organisation had termed coronavirus as a ”pandemic” on March 11.