Jasprit Bumrah wants saliva's alternative to shine ball
Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah voiced his opinion on the ongoing debate regarding saliva usage. He believes an alternative to saliva must be introduced for bowlers in order to shine the ball, once cricket resumes. The ICC Cricket Committee earlier recommended restricting the use of saliva on the ball to contain the spread of COVID-19. The recommendation has received mixed reviews from players.
"The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit. I don't know what guidelines we'll have to follow when we come back, but I feel there should be an alternative," said Bumrah in a chat on ICC's video series 'Inside Out'.
Bumrah feels restricting the use of saliva will make the game more batting-friendly. "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," he said. "We need some alternative for the bowlers to maintain the ball so that it can do something, maybe reverse or conventional swing," added Bumrah.
ICC Cricket Committee chairman Anil Kumble earlier revealed the recommendation is only an interim measure to safeguard the health of players. He reiterated the rule will be revoked, once things go back to normal. The 49-year-old also clarified the committee wanted to eliminate any external substance from the game. "I think things will go back to as normal as it can be," Kumble stated.
The members of Anil Kumble-led ICC panel unanimously agreed the traditional practice must get redundant. However, there is no restriction on the use of body sweat. Notably, the use of an external substance has also been prohibited.
Bumrah feels there is still some respite for bowlers in Test cricket, but shorter formats leave no margin for error. "In Test cricket, we have something. But in limited-overs cricket, there are two new balls and it hardly reverses at the end," he said. He added, "In Test matches I have no problem, I'm very happy with the way things are going."