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Saliva ban won't trouble seam bowlers: UAE under 19 player Benjamin

Rituraj Borkakoty/Dubai
Filed on June 14, 2020
Benjamin, the Colombo-born youngster who also represented the under 15 Botswana team, says bowlers need to remain positive to get wickets despite the saliva ban


Aaron William Benjamin, the UAE under 19 national team left-arm fast bowler, says the ban on the use of saliva to polish the ball is unlikely to affect bowlers that rely on seam movement and not swing.

Benjamin, the Colombo-born youngster who also represented the under 15 Botswana team before moving to the UAE with his parents in 2015, says bowlers need to remain positive to get wickets despite the saliva ban.

"Keeping in mind the health of the players in the current situation, I think they (the ICC) needed to do it. But I don't use the swing as much as I should be. Actually I am more of a seam bowler. I rely on seam movement than swing. So it's not going to affect me much," Benjamin told Khaleej Times.

"I don't think I will be having that much of a problem. But I believe, for any bowler, if you maintain a good line and length, you will get wickets anyway.

"I think as a fast bowler, I just need to stay positive and concentrate on what I can do." 

Benjamin tries to learn from Sri Lankan seam bowler Lahiru Kumara on how to use the pitch for seam movement.

Saliva ban won't trouble seam bowlers: UAE under 19 player Benjamin (KT24277614.JPG)

Aaron William Benjamin (third from right) played in the 2018 under 19 Asia Cup in Bangladesh

"I have been watching a lot of cricket. I have been analysing my own bowling clips to see how I can improve, as well watching international bowlers in older matches," he said.

"Since I am more of a seam bowler, I tend to watch a lot of Lahiru Kumara's bowling as he uses the pitch to his advantage. Considering Covid-19 has left fast bowlers in a bit of a tough spot, hitting the deck and using the seam to deceive batsmen will be crucial in the coming season."

But Benjamin, who represented the UAE at the 2018 under 19 Asia Cup, admitted that swing bowlers will face a big challenge.

"With the saliva, you shine one side of the ball, the shiny side gets heavy and when you are bowling, that side is where the move will move towards. So, if you are a swing bowler, it will be tougher to swing the ball. It will be a little bit easier to bat," the 19-year-old Middlesex University Dubai student said.

Benjamin, who is hoping to get a call up from the senior UAE team, then thanked the Desert Cubs Cricket Academy for inviting legendary Sri Lankan players Chaminda Vaas and Rangana Herath to conduct online sessions with young cricketers in Dubai.

"My academy, Desert Cubs Cricket Academy, has helped me and our younger cricketers by giving us the opportunities to have question and answer sessions with cricketers such as Vaas and Herath. They provided us with an insight on the more strategical aspects of the game that we may not have been thinking about during the season (when we stayed indoors)," he said.

"They also emphasised on the importance of consistency and hard work, which encouraged everyone, considering we have been away from the game for the past few months," said Benjamin who has started training after the authorities have eased the Covid-19 restrictions.

"Just last week again, I started outdoor training at the ICC Academy," he said.

"I went individually. I was trying to get my bowling rhythm back."

rituraj@khaleejtimes.com





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