By Neto Baptiste
Iconic West Indies fast bowler and one of four knighted cricketers here, Sir Curtly Ambrose, describes plans by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to amend the rules with a view towards allowing the use of foreign substances on the ball as “opening a can of worms.”
The move, which comes amidst concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, seeks to eliminate the use of saliva and or sweat by players to polish or shine one side of the ball, which impacts its movements.
“You penalised people for many years for ball-tampering and I understand the Covid-19 and all that stuff, but then I don’t think that a little sweat on a ball and then you shine it, will cause much of a problem. I am no medical expert, but it’s not like you’re going to have the whole ball full of sweat, but just little areas and then you shine it off in your flannel, in your pant so using foreign objects is just defeating the purpose of this ball-tampering and could open a serious can of worms,” he said.
Law 41 however deems all other actions which alter the condition of the ball as illegal, and players in the past have been penalised for ball-tampering under the said law.
Sir Curtly, who claimed 405 wickets in 98 Tests, believes it will however be some time before the game, and sports on a whole, gets back to normalcy.
“It’s going to be difficult because even if you want to play behind closed doors and with empty stadiums and such, it is going to be difficult because guys are going to be worried and concerned about the players around them, and it is human nature because we don’t know who has the virus, so it is going to be very difficult, and even if they find a vaccine tomorrow, it is going to take some time before you could get back to some normal way of life because this thing is all over the word,” he said.
The Antiguan also grabbed 225 wickets in 176 One Day International (ODI) matches.