Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has raised concerns over the new rules that have been put into place by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to safeguard against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ICC has introduced social distancing protocols in cricket. The new rules stipulate that bowlers will never come into contact with the umpire and that players will have to use sanitizers when touching the ball.
Inzamam questioned the strategy, which clearly has loopholes, and requested the ICC to let cricket be cricket. He said the following on his official YouTube channel:
“It is a very good thing that the sport is returning but tinkering with rules is a serious issue. Aap cricket ko cricket ko tarah hi rehne dein (Let cricket remain cricket),” said Inzamam.
“Will slip fielders also stand some distance apart? After taking a wicket, won’t the bowler celebrate with his teammates? If a bowler is not doing well, won’t the captain go up to him and speak with him? Will the batsmen stand six feet apart and talk strategy?" he asked.
Inzamam says bowlers will resort to Vaseline due to saliva ban
The 50-year-old also questioned the saliva ban imposed by the ICC and said that bowlers might resort to other substances like Vaseline. He even went on to state that he doesn't understand the logic behind the saliva ban at all.
“I was thinking the other day that you can’t apply saliva on the ball because of certain issues related to coronavirus, but there are several other things that can cause problems as well,” Inzamam said.
“If a bowler is not allowed to apply saliva, then ball won’t move around as much and he will go for runs. The bowler will then turn to other things such as Vaseline to shine the ball. I don’t understand the logic behind the saliva ban,” added the former batsman.
Inzamam has raised very valid concerns over the ICC's rulings, and with the cricket community divided over the right way forward, it remains to be seen how the sport will be played in the post-COVID era.