Former Sri Lanka captain and President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Kumar Sangakkara believes it will be interesting to see how players deal with the ICC’s latest guidelines.
Sangakkara said that shining the ball for bowlers is an instinctive thing and that overcoming that particular barrier will be tough, adding that social distancing will also take some getting used to for players.
“For fast bowlers or spinners, shining the ball, is an instinctive thing, they have done it over so many years since they were kids," he said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
"Cricket is a social game, most of the time you spend in the dressing room – you talk, you chat. This will be a very clinical thing, you come ready to play, no warmups, you do everything right and you go home. So, it will be interesting to see how the players deal with that.”
The ICC guidelines for the resumption of cricket had clearly stated that "saliva should not be used on the ball."
It also spoke of social distancing and ensuring minimal contact at all times. "Players and umpires should maintain social distancing on the cricket field and that includes no handing over of player items (cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers) to the umpire or teammates. Consider adopting a process that will assist the bowler in managing his/her items. Umpires may also be encouraged to use gloves when handling the ball."
The guidelines also said that teams should "consider using adjoining appropriate areas as additional changing room facilities to allow for social distancing. Minimise time spent in the changing room before and after a match."