Former Australian quick Shaun Tait has joined the recent debate about the use of sweat and saliva on cricket balls, saying an open approach is needed if rules are to be amended in changing the condition of the ball.
Many sectors of the cricketing world have long been calling for an end in the use of sweat or saliva to shine the ball with new calls indicating a controlled way or tampering with the ball should become an option.
Tait, though, feels that too much doubt still surrounds the issue of tampering but suggested that if umpires control how the ball is altered, it could possibly work.
‘Options like that are probably going to be thrown around. We have to be open-minded to some possible changes there. I’m sure most people would just rather see it go back to how it was but at the same time there aren’t too many sports where you use saliva to protect the ball or keep the ball in good condition,’ Tait said.
Australian cricket were hit by one of the game’s biggest scandals ever when opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught using a piece of sandpaper to shine the ball during the third Test between Australia and the Proteas in Cape Town in 2018.
It led to hefty bans for Bancroft and captains Steve Smith and David Warner, who were aware and initiated the plan to change the condition of the ball.
‘This might be an opportunity for cricket to move forward and think about some other ways. In Test matches to have the new ball used earlier or more frequent is another option.’
Former Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis also copped a one-match suspension in 2016 when he was specifically caught using bubblegum or a mint in his mouth to create more saliva to shine the ball with.
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