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“Damp towel can be used to shine ball as Saliva is banned,” Ngidi

South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi feels a damp towel could be a way out to help bowlers who will not have the luxury of using saliva to shine the ball in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lungi Ngidi
Photo: Lungi Ngidi

“Once they said there’s no saliva, a few of the batsmen posted on the group that now they are going to be driving on the up so already we can see what type of mentality the batsmen are coming with so now we have to find a game plan to get the ball to swing. Probably a damp towel is the best thing but you’ve got to find something somehow, to shine it,” Ngidi told ‘ESPNCricinfo’.

The ICC has temporarily banned the use of saliva on balls to curb the spread of the deadly health disease.

A high-performance squad of 45 players was given the greenlight to resume training last week and are currently practicing in groups of no more than five players at their domestic franchise grounds in South Africa.

“We have to book sessions now so there are certain groups of guys that come in at a certain time and when they are done, another group comes in,” Ngidi said.

“As the bowlers, we each have our net. We each have our balls. There is no touching and hardly any communication as well. Before going to gym, you have to let them know so they can sanitise the area before you come in and sanitise once you leave for the next group. There’s temperature checks at the gate, there’s hand sanitisers, we fill out forms, it’s a whole process before you can actually bowl a cricket ball. It’s very frustrating but also very necessary at this point.”

There will also be the ‘3TCricket’ competition on July 18, which would mark the resumption of live cricket in South Africa following the coronavirus-forced break.

The Solidarity Cup will see 24 of South Africa’s top players feature in three teams — The Eagles, Kingfishers and The Kites — playing two halves in a single match.