Anil Kumble admits saliva ban will be ‘hard to manage’ for players

Former Indian cricketer Anil Kumble admitted that the saliva ban is something which players will “find hard to manage”.

“Based on medical advice, we believe that saliva could be the major contributor to carrying this disease and that`s why we banned the use of saliva, although it`s second nature in cricket. That`s something that players will find hard to manage,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Kumble as saying during a webinar, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Wednesday.

Last month, the International Cricket Council`s (ICC) Cricket Committee, chaired by Kumble, had recommended changes to ICC regulations including prohibiting the use of saliva to shine the ball amid the coronavirus pandemic.

ICC then announced the `Back to Cricket Guidelines` for the safe resumption of cricket to assist its members in restarting cricket activity in their countries.

Regular hand sanitising when in contact with the ball, prohibition on the use of saliva and not touching eyes, nose, mouth after contact with the ball were the measures for `safe management of the ball`.

Also, Kumble believes that the pandemic has offered another opportunity to bring spinners back into the longest format of the game.

“You can probably leave grass on the surface or even rough it up and have two spinners. Let`s get spinners back in the game in a Test match. Because if it`s a one-day or T20 game, you`re not worried about the ball or shining of the ball. Sweat can certainly take care of that,” he said.

“It`s [a] Test match that we`re talking about and in a Test match why not get two spinners? [I] would love to have two spinners playing in Australia, two spinners playing in England, which never happens. Not often do you see that happening. Of course in the subcontinent, you have two spinners playing. So, in cricket you have the surface you can play around with and bring about a balance between bat and ball,” Kumble added.