'When the ball gets old, it will not shine with sweat, it will only make it heavier,' said Harbhajan Singh
Bengaluru: The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricket Committee, led by Anil Kumble, recently recommended the prohibition of use of saliva to shine the ball keeping in mind the safety of players and match officials due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.
Bowlers have been divided on this recommendation. The committee, however, supported the use of sweat to shine the cricket balls.
Veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels bowlers will be in more trouble if the use of saliva is banned to shine the ball.
“When the ball gets old, it will not shine with sweat, it will only make it heavier. Saliva is thick and when we use it on the ball repeatedly, it helps the ball to shine,” the 39-year-old Harbhajan told Sports Tak.
“Sweat can make the ball wet and also make it heavy but it cannot shine the ball especially when it is old,” the spinner, who has played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is, added.
Stating that this is not a permanent solution, Harbhajan felt without using saliva on the ball, bowlers will find it difficult to do well in the sub-continent conditions.
“This is not a permanent solution I think. If you don't use saliva the bowler will go further away from the game. Especially in sub-continent conditions, you need to make the ball and you need saliva for that.
“Bowlers will be in more trouble. Sweat can only make the ball shine when it is new. But not once it is old,” Harbhajan opined.
He also said it will be difficult for the spinners to turn the ball if they are not allowed to use saliva on the ball. “If there is no shine on the ball, and if it is only heavy with sweat, the ball won’t hang in the air or it won’t dip and it won’t spin a lot. There will be problems in gripping also.”
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Last Updated May 20, 2020, 6:14 PM IST