Saliva use banned to shine cricket ball but old habit hard to die, feel coaches

By: Bipin Dani      Published: 09:47 PM, 20 May, 2020
Saliva use banned to shine cricket ball but old habit hard to die, feel coaches

Anil Kumble-led ICC's cricket committee has banned the use of saliva on ball. The suggestion has come from ICC's four-member Medical Advisory Panel, which is being represented by Dr Peter Harcourt (Australia). The other three members of the panel are: India's Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala, Dr. Akshay Mansingh (West Indies) and Dr. Roger Hawkes (England).

It has been a very old practice of using saliva by the bowlers and fielders and the old habit will be hard to die.

"Habit of application of using saliva on the ball will be harder to change as this has been done by all players over time", Dav Whatmore, an international coach having worked with Sri Lanka (1996 World Cup winning team), Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, IPL and Kerala teams, said exclusively over telephone from Melbourne. 

"Now, this (change of habit) can be done through if all are reminded constantly and that there is an alternative (sweat)". 

Lance Klussner, former South African all rounder, who has been coaching Afghanistan team, said: "It's just getting rid of the habit of just naturally putting saliva on the ball that will have a lot of players needing to get used to it. We will see many funny examples of players forgetting that doing that is no longer acceptable now."

"It is an ICC recommendation. No formal decision yet. Will have to abide by the rule and will also need to find the way of adjusting to it," Russell Domingo, the Bangladesh coach said.

India's former fast bowler Chetan Sharma believes that even prohibiting the saliva, it will come to the bowler in some way or the other. "If the players are spending hours on the field of play in hot summer, there is no chance that they would not lick their lips or wipe their faces with their hands".

It will be a relearning process, according to Dr. Chaitanya Sridhar, the Sports Psychologist PhD, UWA-Australia.

"It's more of a relearning that would be needed. It would take a while in the beginning but necessary precautions and cues will aid in this aspect too", she said. "Using some reminders will help curb the action especially in the beginning".