The Covid-19 crisis has opened up new dimensions in cricket. The use of an artificial substance looks very much on the cards as the global governing council has decided against the usage of ‘sweat or saliva’ as cricket resumes. The rule might also remain in place for a long time in what could turn out to be a new normal in cricketing world.
Kookabura, Australia manufacturers, have also come up with a sponge applicator to polish the ball. However, the concern put into place by the current crop of players and ex-cricketers, is that it will difficult to overcome the old habits and to adapt to a new world.
Faf du Plessis: I’m used to taking a bit of spit on my fingers
Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said that he is used to taking spit in his hands and it will be difficult to overcome the habit. He also cited the example of former Australia captain Ricky Ponting who always had a big spit on his hand while trying to catch the ball.
“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,” Faf du Plessis said on Star Sport’s show Cricket Connected.
Brett Lee said cricketers have been habituated to using spit from an early age. He, however, supported the initiative taken by the global governing council but said it will be a very difficult rule to implement and umpires can intervene by giving warnings.
“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. 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,” Brett Lee said.
Meanwhile, England cricketers have already resumed training behind closed doors.