‘Saliva ban may make cricket boring,’ says Starc

• Bowlers often spit on the ball to deceive the batsman

‘Saliva ban may make cricket boring,’ says Starc

Banning of spitting and use of saliva in cricket will make the sport boring and unentertaining says Australian paceman Mitchell Starc.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to implement a ban on spitting on balls after medical and health guidelines posit that spit is spreading Covid-19.

Bowlers often spit on the ball to deceive the batsman
Bowlers often spit on the ball to shine it, which helps in deceiving the batsman.

The Australian said that swinging the ball after shining one side of it using spit was a crucial part of the contest between bowlers and batsmen in cricket.

Speaking to an online press conference, Starc said:

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. 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.

ICC Cricket Committee Chairperson Anil Kumble said that the ban on saliva was only a temporary measure necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Anil, a former Indian Test spinner, posits that cricket regulators did not want to allow the use of foreign substances that could alter the condition of the ball.

He further informed that ground staff could be asked to produce batsman-friendly flat wickets. Another option could be that the ball-tampering rules could be changed temporarily to allow a substance such as wax could be applied to the ball.

Australian cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra is developing a wax applicator that allows players to shine the ball without using saliva.