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Cricket: Joe Root reveals how coronavirus saliva ban will help bowlers

England captain Joe Root believes standards could improve due to the saliva ban (Picture: Getty)

England captain Joe Root believes the likely ban on using saliva to shine the ball when cricket resumes should increase the skill of bowlers.

The ICC’s cricketing committee has recommended prohibiting saliva being used due to an ‘elevated risk of transmission’ amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cricketers often use saliva or sweat to shine the ball to help it swing but Root said of the potential ban: ‘It could work in our favour and up skill levels.

‘Not having the assistance that you might normally have means your accuracy has to improve.

‘Guys will have to find another way to get something out of the surface, whether that’s a bit more effort, changing angles on the crease, using the wobble seam they might not have in their locker.

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‘It could develop our bowlers in a four or five-week period.’

A number of England bowlers returned to individual training this week, with the ECB hoping to stage a behind-closed-doors Test series against West Indies in July.

England fast bowler Broad told Sky Sports: ‘I have bowled 12 overs so far and felt really good.

‘The key is not to get too excited, too competitive early and push too much. Let the body naturally get used to bowling again.

‘I have three sessions next week of six or seven overs and then my workloads will get up to where I am comfortable bowling at a batsman.

‘You don’t want to bowl at a batsman too early as that’s when you will try and bowl with full force and be under more pressure.

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‘We are all in the same boat. It’s not like any team is going to come in with loads more or loads less preparation. It will be an even playing field.’

England were due for fixtures against West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Ireland this summer but it remains to be seen how much cricket will be played as the world continues to battle the spread of coronavirus.

The 2020 Indian Premier League, usually played between March and May, has been suspended indefinitely and the ECB’s brand-new competition, The Hundred, has been pushed back until the summer of 2021.

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