Australia pacer Mitchell Starc (file image)
Australia pacer Mitchell Starc (file image)

'There needs to be maintaining of even contest': Starc on saliva ban

ANI | Updated: May 26, 2020 09:46 IST

Melbourne [Australia], May 26 (ANI): Australia's Mitchell Starc on Tuesday said that an even contest between bat and ball should be maintained to let viewers and players enjoy cricket.
His remark comes as International Cricket Council (ICC) issued guidelines, saying that saliva cannot be used by players to shine the ball.
"I understand that completely and hear what they are saying in terms of a foreign substance, but whether that can be controlled by the umpires in terms of they have a portion of the wax and you can only use a small amount, I don't know, but there needs to be a maintaining of the even contest," ESPNCricinfo quoted Starc as saying.
"I understand what they're 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," he added.
Shining the ball is a major thing for bowlers in trying to extract some swing from the match. As the game starts swaying in favour of batsmen by each passing day, bowlers have to try everything they can to trouble the batsmen.
"Whether it be the wickets being not as flat or at least considering this shining wax to a degree, there needs to be some thought on that I think. 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," Starc said.

The 30-year-old pacer also said that as saliva is being banned, the wickets should be kept on the greener side to assist the bowlers, otherwise cricket will run the risk of becoming boring.
"They've mentioned that it's only going to be there for a period of time and then once the world gets back to a relatively normal situation then saliva can come back into shining the ball. But 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," Starc said.
"I think as we saw in Australia the last couple of years, there's some pretty flat wickets, and if that ball's going straight, it's a pretty boring contest. Generally the spinners reckon that the wickets that seam a bit also spin, so maybe if you bring the bowlers back into the game, you'll tick all the boxes," he added.
Currently, all international cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the ICC issued guidelines for safely resuming cricket and the body said that chartered flights should be used for travel for some period of time.
The ICC also said that international teams should strongly consider travelling with a medical doctor. Travelling teams should ensure necessary arrangements are in place to support a team member should they test positive while on tour.
The players and umpires have also been asked to maintain social distancing on the cricket field and that includes no handing over of player items (cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers) to the umpire or teammates. (ANI)