Ramiz Raja suggests reducing the pitch size if bowlers are stopped from using sweat or saliva after COVID-19 outbreak

Raja, who was part of Pakistan’s triumphant 1992 World Cup side, believes that the pitch could be turned into 20 yards instead of 22.

Ramiz Raja
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Ramiz Raja. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected all fields including sports. All major tournaments and series have either been called off or postponed in the wake of the pandemic. Moreover, the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak is anticipated to be much more complicated. It is expected that the art of reverse swing could be excluded from the game after the resumption of sports after COVID-19 outbreak subsides.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, bowlers could be stopped from shining the ball through saliva or swear. Hence, reverse swing will be under the threat of extinction, especially in Test cricket.

Cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja has opined about the issue and has stated that Test cricket will become less attractive if the art of reverse swing eventually fades away. Raja donned the Pakistan jersey in 57 Tests and 198 ODIs and amassed 2833 and 5841 runs respectively. He was also a part of Pakistan side that clinched the World Cup in 1992. According to Raja, reverse swing is a vital part of a bowler’s armoury in the red-ball cricket.

‘Turn the pitch into 20 yards’: Ramiz Raja

“In all probability, players won’t be able to apply saliva or sweat to shine the ball which will mean that reverse swing will go out of the equation,” said Raja in a YouTube video.

“This will consequently make Test cricket less attractive because reverse swing forms a very important part of a bowler’s armoury in this format,” he added.

To tackle this issue, Raja has suggested that the size of the pitch should be reduced in order to ensure that game does not slide into the batsman’s favour. Raja, who was part of Pakistan’s triumphant 1992 World Cup side, believes that the pitch could be turned into 20 yards instead of 22 in order to make life tough for the batsman.

“The lack of reverse swing will disturb the balance between bat and ball and so we might have to go towards squeezing the size of the pitch. Maybe turn the pitch into 20 yards instead of 22 so that batting is not very easy,” said Raja.