‘ICC should wait for a suitable time to host T20 WC’

Karachi:  There is speculation that the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November, will be postponed due to the travel restrictions in place for the coronavirus outbreak. Personally, I don’t think it is a good idea. I mean, how could you have a Cricket World Cup without spectators? Akram told ‘The News’.

A World Cup is all about big crowds, spectators coming from all parts of the globe to support their teams. It is all about the atmosphere and you cannot get it behind closed doors, he said. On May 28, ICC had deferred a decision on the fate of the T20 World Cup till June 10 as it continues to explore contingency plans amid the raging pandemic.

So, I believe that it (ICC) should wait for a more suitable time. Once this pandemic subsides and restrictions are eased, we can have a proper World Cup, he added.

The ICC Cricket Committee recently recommended a ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball, but allowed sweat as an interim measure.

It also did not allow the use of artificial substances. Akram said allowing sweat is not enough and added ICC would have to find a quick fix to the problem. ‘I am sure fast bowlers won’t like it if they are stopped from using saliva to shine the ball. They are allowing sweat but I can say for sure that it isn’t the same,’ he said.

You shine the ball with saliva and sweat is just something of an add-on, a top-up. Too much use of sweat will leave the cricket ball wet. I believe that ICC will need to find a reasonable solution. But I would say it will need to find a quick fix to this problem.

Calls have been growing for an alternative to saliva from former and current cricketers, including lead India pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Sri Lanka bowlers have also said that they prefer saliva over sweat to shine the ball following their first training session post lockdown.