File photo of Sachin Tendulkar
The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic saw plenty of new rules being brought into cricket. Be it bio-bubble restrictions, pre-series quarantine, or regulations over a player testing positive for the virus, almost all Covid-19 rules have gone, but one still remains. The rule that is still intact is the ban on the usage of saliva. Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, hence, has spoken in favour of the return of usage of saliva on the ball, while admitting that the International Cricket Council’s decision during Covid-19 was right.
“I am not a medical expert, but saliva on the ball should be back. It has happened for over 100 years and nothing drastic has happened. Yes, the decision was rightly taken in 2020, but that is now behind us. Now, it is something that should be considered,” Tendulkar said on India Today Conclave.
Tendulkar also touched upon the hygiene part ofthe issue, suggesting if putting the ball under the armpits (to apply sweat) is fine, then there shouldn’t be any objection on saliva.
“If you think that is unhygienic, I have seen guys putting the ball under their armpit. Saliva is important when the ball is new. The texture of saliva is slightly different to your sweat. You make one side heavy and keep the other side light… we don’t touch the other side of the ball light. The imbalance of the weight helps you swing the ball,” he added.
A few other suggestions on the subject have also been made in the past. For instance, Australia pacer Pat Cummins had suggested the ICC should allow the usage of an artificial wax-like substance to shine the ball. However, the apex body paid no attention to the suggestion.
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