Pat Cummins against saliva, sweat ban post COVID-19; says Test cricket will lose its charm

ICC contemplates banning the traditional practice of shining the ball in order to avoid potential spread of COVID-19.

Cricket ball may become a source of COVID-19 spread | GettyOnce COVID-19 subsides, cricket could see a shift away from the traditional practice of shining the ball through the use of saliva and sweat.

See Also: Shane Warne weighs in over possible saliva-ban, suggests weighted balls to be used 

As per the reports, the ban on saliva, sweat was discussed at the recent CEC meeting of the ICC. Moreover, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)’s protocols for the return of cricket in the country specifically rules out the practice to avoid the potential spread of the deadly virus.

Sharing his two cents on the same, Australia speedster Pat Cummins on Sunday (May 10) said Test cricket will be poorer if the usage of saliva, sweat is banned.

“As a fast bowler, I think you’ve got to be able to shine the ball,” the No. 1 Test bowler told

“Why everyone loves Test cricket is because it has so much art to it. You have swing bowlers, spinners, you have all these different aspects that make Test cricket what it is.

“I think if you can’t shine the ball, that takes away swing bowling, that takes away reverse swing bowling and I just don’t want to give batsmen another reason to score runs,” he added.

Financially weakened by the game's suspension in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown, cricket boards across the globe are exploring options to safeguard the upcoming fixtures.

Cummins, however, believes that the game at the top level will probably not resume while there are still major concerns about the transmission of the virus.

“Obviously, health is the absolute, the number one priority but I’m kind of thinking that if we are in a position where we are worried about passing on the coronavirus ... I don’t think we would be playing in the first place,” he said.

Apparently, Australian ball manufacturer Kookaburra is developing a wax-based product that could potentially offer an alternative option for bowlers to shine the ball in the post COVID-19 world.

“I want them to come up with another option. Whether it’s saliva or any another substance, we need to able to shine the ball and make sure it keeps swinging,” Cummins stated.


By Salman Anjum - 10 May, 2020

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