The 'sultan of swing' can't imagine life without saliva

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Anderson has 584 wickets from 151 Tests and is fourth on the list of the highest wicket takers. - AP file
Anderson has 584 wickets from 151 Tests and is fourth on the list of the highest wicket takers. - AP file

Dubai - England's leading wicket-taker James Anderson wonders how bowlers will cope after the ICC Cricket Committee recommended the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited

By James Jose

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Published: Wed 20 May 2020, 10:04 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 May 2020, 12:22 AM

England's leading wicket-taker and one of the world's best swing bowler James Anderson wondered how bowlers will cope with not using saliva on the ball and said that it would be interesting how it plays out.
The 37-year-old, who has 584 wickets from 151 Tests and is fourth on the list of the highest wicket takers, also spoke about treading into the unknown, especially in these times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"It's a massive thing for me because to get the ball to swing, you need to be able to polish the ball and repair it when it gets scuffs on it.It'll be interesting to see what they do, but I certainly haven't heard anything," Anderson told CNN Sport in an Instagram Live.

The ICC Cricket Committee on Monday, recommended changes to the regulations to mitigate the risks posed by the virus and protect the safety of players and match officials.
The Committee, chaired by former India captain and leg spinner Anil Kumble and in consultation with the Medical Advisory Committee discussed the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva, and unanimously agreed to recommend that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited.
The Committee also noted the medical advice that it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball whilst recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field. 
The recommendation is likely to be approved by the ICC's Chief Executive Committee.
Anderson, who took a career-best 7-42 and also a landmark 500th Test wicket against the West Indies at Lord's in 2017, also spoke about cricket's return during the pandemic.
"It's just a human reaction to be nervous about this situation," he said.
"We've got players in our team who have pregnant wives and the worry there is if they bring something back. So I think what the ECB is doing is trying to make sure we really, really tick every box that we can to make sure the safety of the players and staff is paramount and make sure everything is in the right place so if and when we do join back up as a team before we start playing, we are as safe as we can be," Anderson added.
As far as his future is concerned, Anderson said he is taking it game by game and winning the next Ashes would be the ideal swansong.
"To be honest, I don't even know if I'm going to make it to the next Ashes series," reckoned Anderson.
"For me, it's about the next game and what I can control. I don't like looking too far ahead. You don't know when you're going to get your next injury as a bowler, especially for me over the last few months and last couple of years! I love playing cricket and that's what I'm going to do for as long as I possibly can. If we can win in Australia, that would be amazing and -- it's hard to say because it's so far ahead -- but if I managed to play in that and we won, obviously I'd have to see how my body was at that point, but it might be a nice way to go out," he added.

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