Sreesanth backs saliva ban

S. Sreesanth, who is on the verge of a comeback after his ban ends in September, said he welcomed the ban on saliva post COVID-19 in a SAI interaction.

S. Sreesanth

S. Sreesanth was last seen on the cricket field on May 9, 2013.   -  H. Vibhu

Few cricketers have polarised opinion like S. Sreesanth did in recent times.

The India speedster, who is on the verge of a comeback after his ban ends in September, is still adored by the up-and-coming young cricketers in Kerala with Ranji stars Sachin Baby, M. D. Nidheesh, Basil Thampi training with him at his S36 cricket Academy.

The lockdown has kept Sreesanth occupied as he gears up for what he says will be a second debut. While his obsession with body building is well-documented, Sreesanth has added meditation and yoga to his daily routine. And these days, he spends a lot of time reading and is half way through writing a book.

In a candid web interaction with trainees of SAI Regional Coaching centre,  Sreesanth said he welcomed the ban on saliva post COVID-19.

Sreesanth said the pandemic was a blessing in disguise to get rid of the old custom. "As a bowler, I don't think you need saliva to maintain the ball. You can use the sweat to maintain the ball. But the key is not to make the ball too wet and it is important to limit the number of players who will be maintaining the condition of the ball,'' he said.

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The 37-year-old also stressed the need for youngsters to do prehab workouts to prevent injuries and the importance of tennis ball cricket.

"Prehab training is a good concept and I recommend it to all. A lot of people would differ with me on tennis-ball cricket but it put me in good stead when it came to handling pressure in international cricket and in increasing my pace. In tennis ball cricket you play for your pride in front of a small but vociferous crowd and bowling with a light tennis ball has definitely increased my speed, '' he said.

Sreesanth said he was willing to teach and learn from youngsters.  While discussing his grip with the trainees, Sreesanth said he learnt to bowl a few different deliveries from Nidheesh and Thampi at the nets. "There is no secret in cricket. You have to be a messenger and help others. I have my own unique grip and from an young age out of necessity I learnt to land the ball on the seam,'' he said.

Sreesanth said he still longed to win back a place in the Indian team and added his goal was to see Kerala win the Ranji and Irani Trophies.

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