Deepak Chahar on saliva ban: I don't think it will impact us so much

Updated: Jun 12, 2020, 11:23 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Indian spinner Deepak Chahar speaks about the ban on saliva from shining the ball amid the coronavirus pandemic

Deepak Chahar. Picture Courtesy/ Instagram
Deepak Chahar. Picture Courtesy/ Instagram

Team India pacer Deepak Chahar expresses his views if saliva is temporarily stopped from shining the ball on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, "I don’t think it will impact us so much because the white ball only swings for 2 overs. If we talk about the T20 format, the wicket is good for only 2-3 overs and the ball swings for 3 overs, so it reduces the need to shine the ball. The red ball requires a lot of shining!"

ICC cricket committee chairman Anil Kumble had said, "If things get back to normal within three-four months and we are able to stage matches like we used to do in February and March, then these rules won't apply. As long as the medical advisory doesn't change, the rule will stay," he added. The legendary former spinner, however, acknowledged the bowlers' dependence on saliva. "Of course we all know saliva has been a part and parcel of cricket for so many years. As bowlers, we used to apply saliva on the ball, sometimes for grip also, we applied saliva. But this disease can also be asymptomatic, so we decided to ban it."

What other current and former cricketers had to say -

Wasim Akram: It will make bowlers robots, coming and bowling without swing. It's a quizzical situation for me as I grew up using saliva to shine the ball and to swing it. I am all for precautions in these tough times, so bowlers have to wait for the ball to get old and rough for them to get swing. Sweat alone was unlikely to generate swing as in some countries it was too cold. Sweat is just something of an add-on, a top-up. Too much use of sweat will leave the cricket ball too wet.

Shaun Pollock: I think the environment that'll end up being created is almost going to be like a bubble. People will get tested, they'll go into a two-week camp where they're just going to sit and monitor how the conditions of their bodies change. And if there are no symptoms, it doesn't really matter about shining the ball then because you're in the bubble and no one you come into contact with will have Coronavirus. So, you can just get on with normal proceedings.

Jasprit Bumrah: I was not much of a hugger anyway! And not a high-five person as well, so that doesn't trouble me a lot. 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. If the ball is not well-maintained, it's difficult for the bowlers.

Mitchell Starc: We don't want to lose that or make it less even, so there needs to be something in place to keep that ball swinging," Starc told reporters during an online press conference. "Otherwise people aren't going to be watching it and kids aren't going to want to be bowlers. In Australia, in the last couple of years, we've had some pretty flat wickets, and if that ball's going straight it's a pretty boring contest.

Joe Root: Not having the assistance that you might normally have means your accuracy has to improve. Guys will have to find another way to get something out of the surface, whether that's a bit more effort, changing angles on the crease, using the wobble seam they might not have in their locker. "It could develop our bowlers in a four or five-week period.

Chris Woakes: Moving forward you're going to have remind yourself that you can't use those things to shine the ball. The bowlers' job will become harder without the use of saliva on the ball. "Don't get me wrong, you can shine the ball without saliva and sweat, it probably just doesn't have the same effect. You might have to work a little bit harder on rubbing on the trousers.

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