Ajit Agarkar understands the need for saliva-ban in cricket during these tough times but appealed to the authorities of the game to be flexible if players test negative before the start of any series!
Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar underlined the importance of using saliva in the game. Agarkar said that saliva is as important for bowlers as a bat for batsman. ICC has banned the use of saliva & the ban will be effective from the first International Series which will be held between England & West Indies starting from 8th July.
“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 media during an interaction.
“This is my opinion and probably someone from the medical field can give us a broader view on the subject,” the 42-year-old added. However, Agarkar is aware that ICC’s Cricket & Medical committee didn’t have any option but to go for the ban due to the increasing havoc of COVID-19.
“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) it.
“No doubt that the committee has taken a safe approach & in the prevailing situation it is understood to go for a ban. But we will have to wait and see once the England series is underway. It’s not going to be easy for the bowlers. But we will have to wait,” said Agarkar.
Ajit furher added, a game which is already “loaded in favor of batsmen”, the ban on saliva will be a huge drawback for the pacers & seamers.
“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,” said Ajit Agarkar. He is also India’s third-highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket.
“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,” added Agarkar.