In wake of the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the contagious nature of the disease, the International Cricket Council (ICC) are reportedly contemplating to legalise ball-tampering. Such a move would prohibit bowlers from using sweat and saliva on a cricket ball in order to maintain its shine. Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes that players will have to learn to live with the rule (if enforced) once cricketing action resumes in the post-coronavirus world.
In an appearance on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected, Gautam Gambhir said that he doesn’t think coronavirus will invite a lot of changes in the rules of the game. However, he does believe that ICC is likely to legalise ball-tampering after finding an alternative to saliva for shining a cricket ball. Gautam Gambhir added that cricketers will have to adjust to the new environment once the action is resumed.
The 2011 World Cup hero also emphasised over the importance of social distancing in the sport. Gautam Gambhir said that maintaining social distancing is a bit easier in cricket than in contact sports like football and hockey. He further stated that it would be better for cricket if the players accept the concept and learn to play with it.
Apart from Gautam Gambhir, Australian speedster Pat Cummins also expressed his opinion over the possibility of legalising ball-tampering. Pat Cummins said that while he does not have a problem with ICC banning the use of saliva on a cricket ball, he believes that there should be at least “some other option” to maintain shine on the ball. He added that fast bowlers must have some element to be able to shine a ball because it would otherwise take out the component of swing bowling from Test cricket.
In wake of the coronavirus-induced India lockdown, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) indefinitely postponed the launch of the highly-awaited Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) season. IPL 2020 was initially slated to commence on March 29.