Saliva Ban Hard to Change Overnight for Bowlers, Fielders: Brett Lee & Faf du Plessis

Cricketnext Staff

Brett Lee and Faf du Plessis joined the bandwagon of players who feel a saliva ban for shining balls will be a 'difficult' change overnight.

Given the COVID-19 threat around the world, The International Cricket Council announced a temporary ban on using saliva to shine/maintain cricket balls, while allowing sweat for the same purpose.

Cricketers around the world, past and current, have given mixed responses to the ban.

Speaking on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, former Australia pacer Lee said the move was a 'great initiative' but called for some leniency from the authorities in case bowlers instinctively forget to adapt to the new rules.

"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," he said. "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."



South African batsman du Plessis pointed out that the situation is not restricted to bowlers. He said fielders too are used to applying saliva on balls and their own fingers.

"For the fielders, it’s the same," he said. "As Brett mentions, I’m used to taking a bit of spit on my fingers before I catch the ball at slip. If you look at someone like Ricky Ponting, he has a big spit on his hands every time he tried to catch a ball."

Recently, India offspinenr R Ashwin also pointed out that the new rule will take some 'practise' to implement.

"I don’t know (when) the next time I go out there. It is natural for me to put saliva. It’s going to take some practise (to stop it). But I think, if we all have to co-exist, which is the DNA of human race, we will have to try and adapt to this," Ashwin said during an Instagram chat with Delhi Capitals.