Cricket authorities could legalise ball-tampering in wake of COVID-19

There have been talks surrounding the use of saliva and sweat once cricket resumes post-COVID-19 pandemic. Many bowlers have raised concerns that their life would be really difficult, on the field, if they are not allowed to use sweat or saliva to shine the ball due to health concerns. However, the dreaded coronavirus may force the authorities to allow one of the biggest taboos in cricket – ball-tampering – with authorities considering the possibility of allowing the use of artificial substances in a bid to put a bit of shine on the red-ball in the longest format of the game. The move, if passed, would see bowlers use other substances, under the supervision of umpires.

As per a reports, the usage of saliva post-COVID-19 is one of the concerns raised by the ICC medical committee and the issue will be addressed before the sport is resumed. Authorities and office-bearers understand the need to shine the ball as everyone wants a fair contest between the batsmen and bowler throughout the course of a match. The use of artificial substances, if agreed upon, will be strictly under umpires’ supervision – the same as players currently do to clean the ball.

The move would require a lot of flexibility in regards to substance on the ball being used for a series. Kookaburra, Dukes and SG balls are expected to do better with substances like leather moisture, wax or shoe polish. And the move would need to be implemented at all levels of cricket to prevent players from sharing the saliva-lathered ball.

ICC Cricket Committee and MCC’s World Cricket Committee will discuss the issue before cricket returns. As of now, the ICC Cricket Committee is set to meet, via video conference, in May or June.