The age-old method of using saliva to shine the cricket ball may become obsolete soon. With the spread of COVID-19, medical practitioners have warned against the use of saliva to shine the cricket ball. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) medical committee has highlighted the dangers of continuing the ‘usual’ methods of using spit and sweat to shine the ball following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bowlers have been using saliva and sweat to shine the cricket ball to get swing, a movement which takes the ball away from its normal trajectory, thus baffling batsmen. The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed a lot of health risks, which before the outbreak seemed normal. The ICC is mulling the use of an artificial substance to shine the ball. “Authorities are considering the use of artificial substances to help polish the red ball under the supervision of umpires in long-form matches, in order to end the need for players to do so with saliva,” said a report in ESPNcricinfo.
It isn’t just cricket that is considering doing away with many age-old practises. Many sports are considering avoiding the customary hand-shakes before and after matches. Tennis players have also considered stopping the practise of throwing sweaty towels at ball boys and even fans. While these customs don’t have a huge impact on the kind of sport it is being used, the saliva factor will have a huge impact in cricket. Ball swinging is a fundamental part of the game and not able to do so will have a great impact. Hence, the consideration to use artificial substances. Bowlers and fielders use saliva and sweat to either swing the ball or get a better grip, ll of which is extremely unhygienic.