Anil Kumble: Pitch could be prepared to maintain balance

Anil Kumble: Pitch could be prepared to maintain balance

New Delhi: The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee Chairman Anil Kumble on Wednesday said cricket has an advantage over other sports in the sense that the pitch can be prepared in such a way where bat-ball balance is maintained.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the ICC Cricket Committee to take the decision to ban use of saliva in their bid to restart cricket. There has been talk of allowing other artificial substances to help the bowlers shine the ball without using saliva, but that has not been suggested by the committee.

Kumble said the committee decided not to allow that as that has been the custom all along.

"Our intention was to start cricket. We can't call it normal but then this is the new normal that all of us need to get used to," Kumble said during a webinar organised by FICCI called Sporting Events: Embracing the New Normal."

"Safety and security of players is a major concern and with that in mind, and based on medical advice we believe saliva could be the major contributor to carrying this disease.

"So we banned the use of saliva although it is second nature in cricket. That is why players will find it hard to manage. In training, they will have to start slowly. It's not just about coming back and playing but also about coming back after two and half months of lockdown," said legendary leg-spinner and former India captain Kumble.

"Especially if you are a bowler, you need to have those bowling overs under your belt before you start competing. So it's important you slowly and gradually comeback to normalcy as much as you can.

"The advantage that cricket has over other sports is that there is an element of an adjustable variance in the pitch which not many sports have.

"We at cricket committee believe if you want better balance between bat and ball..all these years we have been very stringent on what to use and what not to use on the ball..but to again go back and relax that was something that we felt at cricket committee we should not do.

"In cricket, you could manage the pitch in such a way that you could bring about a better balance between the bat and the ball. The idea was to kickstart cricket. There will be challenges and you have to go one game at a time," added the 49-year old.

Kumble opined players need to play warm-up matches and get themselves loaded before approaching a Test match after such a lengthy break.

"Players will have to have some sort of back up to load the body before playing a Test match.

"It is not easy for bowlers to bowl 30 overs and also tough for batsmen. So probably have a few friendly games before getting into playing a Test match."

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