Lungi Ngidi suggests another alternative to shine the cricket ball
South Africa fast bowler Lungi Ngidi believes a damp towel could be used as an alternative to shine the cricket ball after the International Cricket Council (ICC) restricted saliva usage. Following the restriction, many cricketers have voiced opinion regarding the matter, suggesting several alternatives. Meanwhile, the Proteas seamer said bowlers have to find a new game plan once international cricket resumes. Here is more.
Damp towel is the best alternative: Ngidi
"We have to find a game plan to get the ball to swing. Probably a damp towel is the best thing but you've got to find something somehow, to shine it," ESPNcricinfo quoted Ngidi as saying.
Ngidi says batsmen will have the upper hand
Ngidi feels the 'no saliva' rule could impact bowlers' performance in the impending season, with batsmen making the most of it. "Once they said there's no saliva, a few of the batsmen posted on the group that now they are going to be driving on the up so already we can see what type of mentality the batsmen are coming up with," he added.
ICC confirmed interim changes to playing regulations in June
Last month, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed interim changes to its playing regulations, which were recommended by the Anil Kumble-led committee. As per the rules, the players will not be permitted to use saliva for shining the ball during the match. Although the umpires shall be lenient towards players who are found using saliva initially, subsequent instances will result in a team warning.
Former cricketers suggested to introduce wax applicators
The recommendations received a mixed response from the cricket fraternity. Earlier, a number of players backed the idea of using wax applicator to shine the cricket ball. However, the ICC Cricket Committee barred the use of any external or artificial substance during the match. Notwithstanding, the players are still allowed to use the body sweat to shine the ball.
England players took health measures in the intra-squad practice game
The impact of regulations was seen in England's recently concluded intra-squad practice match. During the match, the player celebrations included elbow dab, while hand-sanitizer was used multiple times. Notably, saliva was not used by the bowlers to shine the ball in order to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, England are set to face Windies in the series opener on July 8.