Karachi: Former cricket greats Brett Lee and Sachin Tendulkar have backed the idea of using wax as an alternative to saliva to shine the ball ahead of a crucial International Cricket Committee (ICC) meeting today.
The ICC is expected to announce a temporary ban on applying saliva on the ball, which is one of the most tested ways for bowlers to generate swing as the governing body seeks to restart the game after the COVID-19 shutdown.
Cricketers can still use sweat to shine the ball, Tendulkar said players hardly sweat in countries like England and New Zealand.
“If you’re not going to allow saliva, and there are places where you don’t sweat, why not use wax or some external substance?” Tendulkar said during his chat with Lee.
The former India captain recommended that teams could be given a “quota” of wax per innings.
Lee backed Tendulkar’s point and said denying the bowlers an alternative would be unfair. “Maybe try a new substance that they can potentially use that everyone agrees on, that the batsmen are happy with, that the bowlers are happy with,” Lee said.
“I like the idea of having a tub of wax, it’s a very good idea,” he added.
The 43-year-old Lee felt a saliva ban would be tough to police and match officials should be lenient.
“There has to be a lot of leniencies, maybe 2-3 warnings per player because I can guarantee you if the players are told they can’t do it, they won’t do it on purpose but I think it will happen through natural instinct,” he added.
Last month -renowned Australian cricket-ball manufacturer Kookaburra announced that it had developed a wax applicator to enhance shine and aid swing.
It must be noted that ICC, on the recommendation of the ICC Cricket Committee in their guidelines said that no saliva should be applied on the ball. Only sweat should be applied to shine the ball.