Bumrah can do away with high-fives & hugs, but needs alternative for saliva ban

Indian pace spearhead is of the view that the International Cricket Council (ICC) must come with an alternative to saliva for bowlers as a means to shine the ball, once cricket resumes amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In the post-COVID era, cricket will see a number of changes amongst which one would be the ban on usage of saliva to shine the ball in order to avoid the possible transmission of novel coronavirus.

Speaking to Ian Bishop and Shaun Pollock on the ICC’s video series Inside Out interviews, Bumrah said he is not troubled by the guidelines for celebrations during a cricket match.

“I was not much of a hugger anyway! And not a high-five person as well, so that doesn’t trouble me a lot. The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit,” said Bumrah.

“I don’t know what guidelines we’ll have to follow when we come back, but I feel there should be an alternative. If the ball is not well maintained, it’s difficult for the bowlers.

“The grounds are getting shorter and shorter, the wickets are becoming flatter and flatter. So we need something, some alternative for the bowlers to maintain the ball so that it can do something – maybe reverse in the end or conventional swing,” he added.

The 26-year-old has been leading India’s bowling attack for a while now and was the No.1 ranked ODI bowler in the world for a considerable amount of time before injury stalled his progress a bit.

Reflecting on his unique bowling action, Bumrah said some people had doubts it but he never listened to them and trusted his instincts.

“I’ve never been to a professional coach as such (in his formative years). All my cricket is self-taught. Everything I learned was through television, watching videos… so I don’t know how this action developed. There were always some people doubting that should I change it or not, but I’ve never really listened to them a lot. I always had belief that it could work,” he said.

Bumrah further said that he doesn’t know how his body will react once he bowls the first ball after the coronavirus lockdown which has been in place for more than two months now in the country.

“I really don’t know how your body reacts when you don’t bowl for two months, three months. I’m trying to keep up with training so that as soon as the grounds open up, the body is in decent shape,” he said.

“I’ve been training almost six days a week but I’ve not bowled for a long period of time so I don’t know how the body will react when I bowl the first ball,” he added.

Bumrah believes players will never get such a break again in their careers and thats why they will be fresh once they return back to the cricket field.

“I’m looking at it as a way to renew your own body. We’ll never get such a break again, so even if you have a small niggle here and there, you can be a refreshed person when you come back. You can prolong your career.”