ICC cricket committee chairman Anil Kumble says the recommendation to ban saliva for shining the ball is only an interim measure and "things will go back to normal" once the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control. The Kumble-led panel recommended a ban on saliva to minimise the risk of infection. On Friday, the ICC, in its guidelines for resumption of the game, also suggested a bar on the practice. "...this is only an interim measure and as long as we have hopefully control over COVID in a few months or a year's time then I think things will go back to as normal as it can be," Kumble told Star Sports show 'Cricket Connected'.
The ban on saliva has elicited mixed response from the bowlers, who said it would definitely come in the way of generating swing. But most have also acknowledged the health risk that it might pose. There have also been discussions on whether the ICC would allow usage of external substances like wax to shine the ball. Kumble said there were discussions on usage of external substances.
"...if you look back at the history of the game, I mean we have been very critical and we have been very focused on eliminating any external substances coming into the game," Kumble said of the speculation.
"Whether you are literally legalising, if you are looking to do that now which obviously has had a great impact over the last couple of years," he added.
He cited the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, which led to bans on Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. "ICC took a decision but then cricket Australia took, even a more tougher stance on what happened during that series between South Africa and Australia, so we did consider that," he said.