Former Australian pacer Brett Lee.
Former Australian pacer Brett Lee.

Would take time for players to get used to stop applying saliva on ball: Brett Lee

ANI | Updated: Jun 09, 2020 12:50 IST


New Delhi [India], June 9 (ANI): Former Australia pacer Brett Lee has said that it will take a lot of time for all the players to stop applying saliva on the cricket ball to make it shinier.
Lee was having an interaction with Sachin Tendulkar on the '100 MB' app of the Master Blaster and it was then that the bowler was asked to talk about the restriction of not using saliva.
ICC's Cricket Committee has recommended the ban on saliva when sport resumes as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.
"It's a tough call because when you have done something for your entire life, from the age of nine, we are told to apply saliva on the ball to shine it, we have grown up with this and now everyone has been told to do something otherwise, so I think it will be really hard to stop and police, it is going to take a lot of time for people to get used it as applying saliva on the ball is a habit," Lee told Tendulkar during the chat on the 100 MB app.
"I think there has to be a lot of leniencies, there need to be two-three warnings given to players if they use saliva. ICC should look to give bowlers something, like a new substance about which both bowlers and batters are in agreement," he added.
The Australian pacer said that prior to a game, all the players can be tested for coronavirus and if all of them turn out to be negative, then players can stay in a bio-secure bubble and the game can be played as usual, without any restrictions on saliva and all.
Lee also said that wickets now need to be made in a more sporting manner so that bowlers remain in the game and there is an even contest between bat and ball.
"I think bowlers life may get a little tough, you can make the wicket a little more on the sporting side, there can be something more for the fast bowlers," Lee said.

During the interaction, Tendulkar also suggested that a new ball can be taken after every 40-50 overs to make the game more even between bat and ball, however, the Master Blaster suggested that it should not be mandatory and it should be left for the teams to decide.
The Master Blaster also suggested that a bottle of wax can be given to the two umpires, and 'X' gram of wax can be used by a team per innings to use it on the wall to make it shinier.
To this, Lee replied: "I like this idea, when you want to introduce something new, it is fine as the game has changed, I don't have any problem with using wax and I like the idea of allowing teams to use wax to make the ball shinier. It can become a new tactic in cricket and it will require skill to use the max, it has merit, so why not give it a go."
Shining the ball is a major thing for bowlers in trying to extract some swing from the match.
As the game starts swaying in favour of batsmen by each passing day, bowlers have to try everything they can to trouble the batsmen.
Currently, all international cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ICC has issued guidelines for safely resuming cricket and the body said that chartered flights should be used for travel for some period of time. The ICC also said that international teams should strongly consider travelling with a medical doctor.
Travelling teams should ensure necessary arrangements are in place to support a team member should they test positive while on tour.
The players and umpires have also been asked to 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. (ANI)

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