Sweat not as effective as saliva, Sri Lanka bowlers tell coach Mickey Arthur

Colombo [Sri Lanka], June 3 (ANI): Sri Lanka fast bowlers who have resumed training tells coach Mickey Arthur that sweat is not as effective as saliva in shining the ball and it makes the ball heavy.

"It was interesting chatting to the bowlers, who said sweat made the ball a little bit heavier than saliva did. Saliva was their preferred mechanism of shining the ball. But it is what it is now, you've just got to get on with it," ESPNcricinfo quoted Arthur as saying.

The 13-man squad that began the 12-day "residential training camp" on Monday, out of which six are fast bowlers.

Arthur is part of the ICC cricket committee that recommended a ban on using saliva and to use only sweat to shine the ball till the COVID-19 pandemic lasts to combat the infection.

"Because I'm on the [ICC] cricket committee, I do know the debates and the chats that went around the recommendation to avoid using saliva on the ball - though you can use sweat on the ball because it's been proven that sweat is not a real threat. The consensus in that committee meeting was: 'Oh, well, if you can put sweat on, then it's ok. It's almost the same'," Arthur said.

Shining the ball is a major thing for bowlers in trying to extract some swing from the match. As the game starts swaying in favour of batsmen by each passing day, bowlers have to try everything they can to trouble the batsmen.

Earlier, India pacer Jasprit Bumrah said he wants an alternative to maintaining the ball as the restriction poses difficulties for the bowlers.

Bumrah was speaking to Ian Bishop and Shaun Pollock on the ICC's video series Inside Out interviews.

"I was not much of a hugger anyway! And not a high-five person as well, so that doesn't trouble me a lot. The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit. I don't know what guidelines we'll have to follow when we come back, but I feel there should be an alternative," Bumrah said.

"If the ball is not well maintained, it's difficult for the bowlers. The grounds are getting shorter and shorter, the wickets are becoming flatter and flatter. So we need something, some alternative for the bowlers to maintain the ball so that it can do something - maybe reverse in the end or conventional swing," he added.

The cricketers taking part in the training camp represents a general squad chosen from across all formats, and primarily consist of bowlers, as they need more time for 'conditioning' before going into an active competition.

The 13 players and four support staff are essentially in their own bubble, going from hotel to ground and vice versa, in central Colombo. No one is allowed to leave either venue for personal reasons.

"Every morning we're having temperatures taken every time you leave the room. We're wearing masks all the time. It's almost total isolation, because in the hotel we've got our own eating area, the gym is cleared during our gym sessions and they clear the pool for our recovery sessions," Arthur said. (ANI)