Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra

Mumbai: The issue of legalising ball tampering has raised a lot of dust off the cherry, but expert opinion on the subject is varied. Former Indian opener Akash Chopra is in line with the belief of the former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding, who holds that for seamers, there can be no substitute for saliva.

"Using a bottle cap or any other object to rub the ball is something I cannot think about, but I support Holding's view on this,” said Chopra, talking to The Free Press Journal on Tuesday, on the legalising of ball tampering, an idea still in the pipeline.

Michael Holding feels legalising ball tampering in a post-Covid-19 world is a bit “self-contradictory.”

He has rejected suggestions that cricketers be allowed to change the natural condition of balls with a foreign object--a precautionary measure necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Holding believes there is 'no logic' behind the reported move, as players will be playing the game in a safe environment and the use of saliva on the ball should not be an issue.

“Saliva is something which is preferred,” feels Chopra.

The Pakistan seamer and legend Waqar Younis also supported Holding, as he made it clear that the use of saliva is a must and cannot be done away with when competitive cricket resumes.

However, former South African seamer Allan Donald is open to the idea. “I absolutely agree with legalising ball-tampering. I had said so in an article sometime in the 2000s. It happens anyway, we see guys throwing the ball on the ground and umpires say to throw it up and it’s pretty obvious what they are doing. It could work if it is well-monitored,” he said while talking a section of media.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is planning to allow bowlers to use an artificial substance to shine the ball instead of their saliva, a practice followed in cricket till now, as using this natural secretion could possibly spread the coronavirus.

The use of an artificial substance to polish cricket balls will most likely be allowed under the supervision of umpires. The possibility will be discussed during the video conference of the ICC, which is scheduled to be held late in May or early June.

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