Former Proteas skipper Shaun Pollock has joined the ongoing debate about how bowlers should be allowed to shine the ball, stating that the use of saliva is not that big of a problem.
Last month the ICC Cricket Committee made suggestions to the ICC Executive Committee regarding changes in the game once the Covid-19 pandemic blows over.
One such proposal was the complete banning of saliva as a method to shine the ball, due to the health risks now associated to it.
The committee, under the leadership of former Indian spinner Anil Kumble, suggested the use of sweat as an alternative, but that idea hasn’t been accepted too well by current and former fast-bowlers.
Pollock told the Following On Cricket Podcast that once players and teams go in a bio-secure environment, then not a lot of risk will be attached to the use of saliva.
‘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,’ said Pollock.
The West Indies and Pakistan are the first teams to create such a bio-bubble to move into as they prepare for their upcoming tours of England.
Such a bubble emphasises the monitoring of players and staff, while they will continue in this environment upon their arrival in the UK; staying and training at venues where facilities are in close proximity.
‘So you can just get on with normal proceedings. I’d presume that there’d be no crowds in place, every single environment they go into would be cleaned down and sprayed, and everything along those lines,’ added Pollock.
The former Proteas’ all-rounder also reckons these bubbles should be an advantage to ensure a safe T20 World Cup in Australia at the end of the year.
The ICC is due to meet in the coming week to decide whether or not to postpone the event to next year, given the uncertainty that still surrounds future international cricket.
‘Go into a camp, like an isolation camp where they’ve got food and accommodation and some nets facilities – they practice for two weeks and once they’re given the all-clear, then maybe they can go into the Australian bubble that’s already formed.
‘You’re sitting and thinking what could or can’t happen. The biggest challenge is international matches, where a team flies in – if one person has got the virus, then all of sudden, the whole tour comes to a grinding stop. I think Australia is probably in the best scenario to create a little bit of a vacuum or bubble where maybe things can happen,’ explained the 46-year-old Pollock.
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