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Maybe Use of Saliva on Ball Can be Allowed if Players Test Negative for Covid-19: Ajit Agarkar

Maybe Use of Saliva on Ball Can be Allowed if Players Test Negative for Covid-19: Ajit Agarkar

Ajit Agarkar says that the ICC can look into allowing use of saliva on the cricket ball for any players who test COVID-19 negative before the game.

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar says that the ICC can look into allowing use of saliva on the cricket ball for any players who test COVID-19 negative before the game.

“My only contention is that players who will play, will eventually be tested before the game starts. If they are found to be COVID-19 negative then I can at least consider that it will be then safe to put saliva on the ball,” Agarkar told PTI during an interaction.

“This is my opinion and probably someone from the medical field can give us a broader view on the subject.

“It is very important to shine the ball and there are no two ways about it but it’s a difficult one for the committees (referring to ICC Cricket and Medical Committee) as well to straightway after resumption say ok you can use (saliva) on it."

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Agarkar added that cricket as a whole is loaded in favour of the batsman and that removing the ability to shine the ball will make it even tougher on the bowlers.

“Obviously, they have taken a safe approach and in current situation it is understandable. But we will have to wait and see once England series is underway. It’s not going to be easy for the bowlers. But we will have to wait.

“If you ask any bowler, everyone will be a bit apprehensive. In recent times, though the pitches have been quite helpful for bowlers which lends a little bit more balance but overall if you see, batsmen do dominate world cricket at the moment.

“If you are taking away the saliva bit, which basically is as important as the bat as is to a batsman, it will certainly become tough for bowlers. But we will have to wait and see how it pans out in match situation.”

first published:June 15, 2020, 18:06 IST