Shining ball with saliva unsafe – Champaka Ramanayake

It will be advisable to ask the fast bowlers to stop using saliva on a cricket ball, according to former Sri Lanka fast bowler Champaka Ramanayake.

Shining ball with saliva unsafe - Champaka Ramanayake

The right-arm paceman, who is also the fast bowling coach, attached with the Bangladesh High Performance Centre (HPC), said: “It is definitely unsafe and unhygienic to use saliva when the risk of COVID-19 is high.”

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“It is only a problem with the red-ball and not with the white-ball as the white-ball does not shine. I am sure the International Cricket Council (ICC) will now take view of this and come out with some other solution.”

In order to retain the shine on the ball longer, Sri Lanka’s Bowling Coach David Saker has made a practice and instructed his fielders and bowlers to avoid sending balls along the ground as far as possible.

“Our bowlers and fielders try to rub the ball on their pants below knee or back of their pants so that the ball does not become wet. The wet ball affects the reverse swing,” Sri Lanka Team Manager Ashantha de Mel said.

“I am not sure how the ball can retain the shine, if saliva is not used. The Umpires have become very strict now. These external substances are prohibited because they give additional advantage to the bowlers when mixed with the saliva,” de Mel added.

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