Cricket is set to become less competitive due the proposed saliva ban the ICC is currently exploring, says Mitchell Starc.
The Australian is one of the best fast bowlers in the world and extremely dangerous once his deliveries start swinging.
Last week the ICC cricket committee submitted proposed game changes to the ICC executive committee, which includes the complete abandoning of saliva use due the risks attached to coronavirus.
In addition, the cricket committee proposed the use of sweat as an alternative for bowlers to get some shine and movement on the ball.
Starc feels the ruling will lead to an unbalanced environment between bat and ball, which won’t offer much assistance to bowlers to impact the game.
‘There needs to be a maintaining of the even contest. I understand what they’re [ICC] saying with foreign substances and that it’s black and white in terms of that, but it’s an unusual time for the world and if they’re going to remove saliva shining for a portion of time they need to think of something else for that portion of time as well.’
Starc recently suggested that if the saliva ban is enforced then bowlers should be allowed to use some sort of substance or object, under strict control of the umpires, to work on the condition of the ball.
‘I guess you use both those things [saliva and sweat] to shine the ball. I’ve probably been a bit more on the sweat side, just trying to not get my hands in my mouth too much, but yeah, I agree completely with what Pat [Cummins] commented on last week – that contest with bat and ball, we don’t want to lose that or get further away from that even contest, so there needs to be something in place to either keep that ball swinging.’
Last week Starc’s teammate Josh Hazelwood also raised his concerns about the ICC’s idea of temporarily banning saliva by suggesting it has become second nature to bowlers to shine balls with saliva before they steam in to bowl.
Starc, though, fears that cricket could become a boring sport to watch if bowlers aren’t able to significantly make an impact with the ball.
‘If it’s going to be a window of time there, maybe then instruct people to leave more grass on the wickets to have that contest or if they’re going to take away a portion of maintaining the ball, there needs to be that even contest between bat and ball, otherwise people are going to stop watching, and kids aren’t going to want to be bowlers,’ added the left-armer.