Calling the ban of saliva a ”great initiative”, former Australian cricketer Brett Lee felt implementing it will be the challenge. Lee said that bowlers have been using saliva to polish the ball since their childhood and hence adapting will not be easy. The former Australian speedster suggested ICC not to be harsh on players using it by mistake.
Apart from affecting the cricketing schedule in a huge manner, the novel COVID-19 pandemic has also possessed a drastic doubt on one aspect of the game, i.e., the customary way of shining the ball with sweat or saliva.
Earlier former Australia paceman and current Sussex coach Jason Gillespie has questioned whether the age-old practice of maintaining a cricket ball, typically achieved with saliva and sweat, can be sustainable once the sport resumes.
Speaking on Star Sports” show Cricket Connected, Brett Lee said: “When you have done something your whole life from 8,9, 10 years of age where you lick your fingers and you put on the ball, it”s very hard to change that overnight too. So, I think there”s going to be a couple of occasions, or there”s going to be some leniency I think from the ICC, where there may be warnings. It”s a great initiative, it’s going to be very hard to implement I think, because cricketers have done this for their whole life.”
The ICC in its statement said: “The ICC Cricket Committee heard from the Chair of the ICC Medical Advisory Committee Dr Peter Harcourt regarding 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.”
Kookaburra Cricket Ball Shine Polish
Australian manufacturer Kookaburra has come up with a polish which will aid the fast bowlers to retain shine on the ball without using their sweat or saliva. It is said that the compound has been derived from existing products used in the footwear industry.
Speaking in an interaction with PA News Agency, Kookaburra Managing Director Brett Elliott opened up on the developments regarding what will be the first-ever such produced used in cricket.