India batting coach Vikram Rathour feels that bowlers must be allowed to use something to shine the ball the absence of which will become an advantage for the batsmen. Also Read - Protests in Sri Lanka After Kumar Sangakkara Questioned For Nearly 10 Hours in 2011 World Cup Final Fixing Probe
There’s a raging debate over banning the traditional practice of applying saliva to shine ball in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic. In its stead, the ICC is contemplating to make ball tampering legal in order to restore balance. Also Read - BCCI to Not Sever Ties With IPL Title Sponsor VIVO if Exit Clause Favours The Chinese Company
“If you are not allowed to put anything on the ball to shine, then yes, it could be an advantage for the batters,” Rathour told The Times of India. “But if you can use your sweat, or if the ICC allows some artificial stuff to shine the ball, then the difference would not be too big. As long as it is going to be the same for all the teams, it should be fine.” Also Read - Sri Lanka Legend Kumar Sangakkara Asked to Give Statement in 2011 World Cup Final Fixing Probe: Reports
There are also fears that the coronavirus-forced layoff means the players will take more time to be back at their best. ICC also reckons that bowlers will be more prone to injury on return to play and therefore the governing body has issued specific guidelines.
When asked whether batsmen will take more time than the bowlers to get their rhythm back, Rathour replied in the negative.
“It will be equally challenging for both – batsmen and the bowlers – to get back to their peak form after a long break like this,” he said.
The former India wicketkeeper and national selector felt that since the players are already following customised fitness routines, it won’t be long before they are all ready for international cricket.
“The good thing is that most of the players have been managing to train well during the lockdown,” Rathours said. “Their fitness routines are being monitored closely by the trainers and physios. So, we are hoping that whenever the outdoor sessions start, it will be a matter of a few weeks of practice and then they should be ready to start playing some practice/domestic matches and then on to international cricket.”
Rathour also says playing behind closed doors won’t ideal but all precautions required for the safe return of cricket are necessary.
“The priority will be for cricket to start. If at that time there are still no vaccinations available, then whatever precautions are required, we will have to take. If that means having to play in empty stadiums, so be it. It is not ideal but I’m sure that the players will manage it,” he said.