Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has raised reservations about the ICC cricket committee’s proposal of banning the use of saliva to shine cricket balls.
The committee, chaired by former India skipper Anil Kumble, proposed to the ICC’s executive committee that saliva carries a huge risk under the current Covid-19 pandemic, with the use of sweat a much-safer alternative for bowlers to implement.
The 29-year-old Hazlewood, however, isn’t as confident about the proposed changes.
‘I’d like saliva to be used, obviously, but if that’s what they’ve put forward, I guess everyone is playing the same game,’ he told the Australian Daily Telegraph.
‘Once it comes back to you as a bowler, it’s second nature to just give it a little touch up if you see something, and that’s going to be hard to stop to be honest. And it’s a tough thing to monitor for sure. Sweat probably makes [the ball] a bit wetter if that makes sense. Makes it a bit heavier.’
The proposal made by Kumble’s committee was based on recommendations provided by Dr Peter Harcourt, chair of the ICC medical advisory committee.
But, Hazlewood doubts the impact of sweat will have as significant an impact on the condition of the ball as saliva.
‘I think you’ll use very small amounts because people have sweaty hands anyway, and it gets on the ball. I don’t think this will have as big an impact as what people think,’ he added.