I don’t know if it’s that big a deal: Greg Chappell on saliva ban

Former Australia captain Greg Chappell believes the saliva ban, imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in wake of COVID-19 pandemic, isn’t that big a deal for the bowlers as they would still be able to use sweat to shine the ball.

“If they’re wiping perspiration from their forehead, there’s sunscreen there. If they’re using saliva, they’ve probably been chewing something, so what’s in that?” the former Australian skipper was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning herald.

“I don’t know if it’s that big a deal. Perspiration will be the equal of saliva. I don’t see the difference, to be honest,” he added.

Chappell, who served as India head coach between 2005 to 2007, further said that the saliva ban will have a minimal affect on Australia’s fast bowlers.

“None of them are big swingers of the ball � Starc might get some reverse swing � by and large it’s the pace and bounce, I don’t think we’ll notice a huge difference, to be honest.”

The former Australian captain further said artificial wax, as being developed by Kookaburra, won’t be needed by the bowlers to shine the ball.

“Bowlers are inventive enough. If they can get perspiration on the ball, they’ll get shine, they’ll be able to preserve the ball unless it’s a real hard, abrasive wicket,” Chappell said.

“You’ve only got to keep enough shine on the ball, and perspiration will do that. I think it’s a bloody storm in a teacup myself,” he added.

According to new ICC rules, players will not be permitted to use saliva to shine the ball and if a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment for the players, but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning.

A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings but repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side. Whenever saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play recommences.

International cricket, which has been on a halt since March following the outbreak of coronavirus, will resume with the three-Test series between England and West Indies from July 8, where all the matches will be played behind closed doors in “bio-secure environment”.