Only an interim measure: Kumble on ICC’s decision to ban saliva amid COVID-19

Last Updated: Sunday, 24 May 2020 (16:19 IST)
New Delhi: The cricket committee chairman has said that the recommendation to ban saliva to polish the match ball is only a temporary measure and things will come back to normal, once the pandemic is brought under control.

The Kumble-led panel had earlier recommended a ban on saliva in the post cricket scenario to minimise the risk of infection. The ICC in its ‘Back to cricket guidelines’ on Friday also suggested the same.
“...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’.
Explaining why alternatives to saliva weren’t considered by the committee, Kumble said, “...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.”
“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 also gave the example of 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. (UNI)