The age-old trick of using saliva to shine a cricket ball could be a
thing of the past when cricket resumes, with the International Cricket
Council recommending a change to the sport’s laws in the wake of the
The committee, chaired by former Indian spinner Anil Kumble,
unanimously agreed to recommend a ban on saliva although players will
still be allowed to use their own sweat to try and achieve the fabled
Cricketers have long used saliva and sweat to shine one side of the
ball while allowing the other to become increasingly scuffed over the
course of an innings.
The technique alters the aerodynamics of the ball, allowing pace bowlers to generate movement in the air.
The committee saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat as it is
unlikely the virus can be transmitted that way, the ICC said, adding
that the recommendations would be presented to its Chief Executives’
Committee for approval in early June.
Shane Warne previously suggested using weighted balls to help pace
bowlers generate swing without risking health, while Australian
cricket-ball manufacturer Kookaburra says it is developing a wax
applicator to enhance shine and aid swing.