Former India opener Wasim Jaffer has suggested the idea of two new balls to start with in Test cricket after the ICC banned the use of saliva in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ICC Cricket Committee, led by former India captain Anil Kumble, last month recommended a ban on using saliva on the ball as an interim measure to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. “I suggested that in Test match you could use two new balls that is one thing that can happen. Probably the curators can make a wicket which is even for both batsmen and bowlers, not too batting or bowling friendly,” Jaffer said during an Instagram Chat with his employers ‘Indian Oil’. The decision to ban saliva takes a huge advantage away from fast bowlers, who bank on it to keep one side of the ball shiny so that reverse swing could be generated later in the innings. The ICC has been contemplating the use of an artificial substance as a replacement for saliva since sweat may not prove as effective. “The ICC has come up with a solution of not using the saliva, or things like that. For bowlers it is going to be hard to not use saliva, and not shine the ball. Then I think, it is going to be lot easier for batsmen,” Jaffer added. “Again, ICC will have to make sure that the balance remains pretty equal for batsmen and bowlers and you don’t want to make it one-sided for anyone of them.”
He also felt that it will be hard for the players to always keep the new rules in mind, especially in an intense game. Giving example of two batsmen chatting in between overs, Jaffer said they will find it difficult to follow the new rules. “It will be interesting. Cricket is not a very physical sport, but still in the dressing room, you sit very close, while you are going to the field you make a huddle and the captain talks, gives you a motivating talk, it’s very hard to maintain that distance.” The veteran surely has pointed out some legitimate difficulties going forward.