A recent report from ESPNcricinfo had suggested that the ICC was looking into legalising ball-tampering in a regulated way. These developments came after several medical experts had prompted cricket bodies about the risks of using saliva to shine a cricket ball. According to medical experts, saliva can transmit coronavirus and this could be risky, especially in red ball cricket, where players often use their saliva to shine the ball. Here is what Allan Donald, Michael Holding, and Waqar Younis had to say about the matter.
According to a report by the PTI, legends of cricket like Allan Donald, Michael Holding, and Waqar Younis have opened up about their opinions on 'legalised' ball tampering. South African legend Allan Donald seems to be all up for the idea. Saying that he had already suggested the move in the 2000s, Allan Donald explained that players already try to technically tamper the ball to the best of their abilities. It will be better if the process is now regulated by the umpires, according to Allan Donald.
Although ball tampering has been attempted by several teams in the past especially when conditions or the match situation do not favour their bowlers at all, Allan Donald's views were not echoed by Michael Holding and Waqar Younis.
Talking about the new developments that the ICC may be looking at, Pakistan legend Waqar Younis' views were not on the same page as Allan Donald. Younis felt that the decision to use external substances can be imposed but the use of saliva and sweat is natural for the bowlers. "A ball exchanges hands all day, you run in, huffing and puffing, you sweat and using saliva is natural rather than on intent. It's a habit and you just can't control this aspect.", Younis was quoted saying. The Pakistan legend added that he felt that the ICC is just trying to hurry back into the cricket season and is tired of the lockdown.
West Indies legend Michael Holding had similar views and he alleged that the need for legalised ball-tampering is not needed if the players are playing in a bio-secure environment. "They were saying cricketers for instance would have to isolate themselves for two weeks to make sure that everything was fine for when they got to the venue before the match started. And everyone involved will have to do the same thing," Holding was quoted saying to ESPNcricinfo.
Holding then explained that if the players follow the regulations and come to play, there is no question of exchanging the coronavirus. The risk only exists if the isolation that the players go through is not effective enough, in which case, cricket should not be played in the first place, according to the West Indian legend. "Why would you want to play cricket under those circumstances? It's either safe or it's not. No guessing, please", Michael Holding said.
No official announcements have been made by the ICC on this matter.