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Anil Kumble led ICC panel proposes ban on saliva for shining ball to minimise COVID-19 infection risk

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 24 May 2020, 15:15 IST

The International Cricket Council (ICC) committee chairman Anil Kumble stated that the recommendation to ban saliva for shining the ball is just a provisional step and ‘things will go back to normal’ once the coronavirus outbreak is brought in check. The committee suggested a ban on saliva to reduce the risk of infection.

On Friday, the International cricket body, in its guidelines for restarting of the game, also advocated a bar on the practice.

"...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," Kumble said.

The ban on saliva has evoked mixed reaction from the bowlers, who stated that it would certainly come in the way of generating swing. However many have also accepted the risk it might cause.

There have also been discourse on if the ICC would permit usage of external substance for instance wax to shine the ball. Kumble stated there were talks on usage of external substances.

"...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," Kumble said of the speculation.

"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," he added.

The former Indian leg-spinner alluded to the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, which led to bans on Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

"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," he said.

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First published: 24 May 2020, 15:15 IST