Wasim Jaffer: Ban on saliva will be difficult for bowlers

The former India opener calls on the ICC to ensure balance between bat and ball.

Wasim Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer says it will be hard for players to keep the new rules in mind.   -  Vivek Bendre

The ICC guidelines banning use of saliva to shine the ball to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic would make the life of bowlers difficult, former India opener Wasim Jaffer has said.

Jaffer called on the ICC to ensure a balance is maintained between bat and ball.

The ICC Cricket Committee, led by former India captain Anil Kumble, last month recommended a ban on using saliva on the ball as an interim measure to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ICC has come up with a solution of not using the saliva, or things like that. For bowlers it is going to be hard to not use saliva, and not shine the ball. Then I think, it is going to be lot easier for batsmen,” Jaffer said during a chat on Instagram with his employer Indian Oil.

“Again, ICC will have to make sure that the balance remains pretty equal for batsmen and bowlers and you don’t want to make it one-sided for anyone of them,” added the veteran Mumbaikar, who has numerous first-class records to his name.

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The 42-year-old Jaffer suggested the use of two new balls in Test matches and said the ICC curators would have to prepare pitches which did not overtly favour either the batsmen or the bowlers. “I suggested that in Test match you could use two new balls, that is one thing that can happen. Probably the curators can make a wicket which is even for both batsmen and bowlers, not too batting or bowling friendly,” added Jaffer.

He also felt it would be hard for the players to always keep the new rules in mind, especially in an intense game. “While this pandemic is around, it is never going to be easy to predict on what is going to happen [regarding the game],” he said.

Giving example of two batsmen chatting in between overs, Jaffer said they would find it difficult to follow the new rules. “It will be interesting. Cricket is not a very physical sport, but still in the dressing room, you sit very close, while you are going to field you make a huddle and the captain talks, gives you a motivating talk, it’s very hard to maintain that distance. At the end of an over, batsmen come close and chat together, it is hard to follow those things and remember all those things in an intense game,” he said.

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Talking about his own career, he remembered the triple hundred he scored against Saurashtra in his second Ranji Trophy game, which cemented his place in the Mumbai side. Later in his career, Jaffer led Mumbai to two Ranji Trophy titles.

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