Bowlers will become robots with saliva ban: Wasim Akram
Pakistan legend Wasim Akram slammed ICC's decision to temporarily ban the use of saliva. He said the bowlers will become "robots" without getting to swing the ball during the match. The 54-year-old believes sweat will only be an add-on as it will make the ball soft. On Tuesday, the ICC confirmed interim changes to its playing regulations, which includes ban on saliva usage.
"It will make bowlers robots, bowling without swing. It's a quizzical situation for me as I grew up using saliva to shine the ball. I'm all for precautions in these tough times, so bowlers have to wait for the ball to get old," said Akram.
The Anil Kumble-led ICC Cricket Committee earlier released a list of recommendations. While it prohibited the players from applying saliva on the ball, the use of sweat of not barred. However, Akram said the sweat will not work effectively. "Sweat is just something of an add-on, a top-up. Too much use of sweat will leave the cricket ball too wet," he added.
Akram believes ICC should legalize ball-tampering as batsmen already hold the upper hand in the game. "When can you tamper the ball? Right from the first over or after 20-25 overs? They will need to sit down and do a lot of brainstorming," he said. He added, "The game is already tilted more in favour of the batsmen."
The committee was also against the idea of introducing an artificial substance. "I believe that they will need to find a reasonable solution. Artificial substances like vaseline could be used to swing the ball but how much of it?" Akram stated. "Let's see, we have this England versus the West Indies series to judge how it goes, because I have never experienced this thing."
However, ICC Cricket Committee chairman Anil Kumble previously revealed the recommendation to ban saliva usage is only an interim measure to safeguard the health of players. As per the former Indian skipper, the rule will be revoked, once the pandemic is over. The members of Anil Kumble-led ICC panel unanimously agreed that the traditional practice must get redundant.