Former Australia batsman Matthew Hayden has become the latest from the cricket fraternity to throw his opinion in the ongoing tussle about whether the cricketers should be allowed to use saliva and sweat to shine the ball in post-COVID-19 matches.
The former opener suggested that the questions surrounding the issue were not only about the usage of saliva and sweat but also exposed that there would be some concerns when the game returns. He, thus, suggested if it was a serious matter, cricket should not happen.
Hayden’s comments come at a time when the ICC is reportedly contemplating to prevent the use of body fluids on the ball to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus among the cricketers.
“If the game needs any saliva rule, I think the expectations would be that it’s not just about saliva, it’s about sweat, it’s bumping into each other — these are the whole set of circumstances, you have to question that game couldn’t be going on if you are worrying about just saliva on the ball,” Hayden said as quoted by IANS.
“If it’s that serious then potentially the game shouldn’t be happening,” he added.
Earlier, the Indian Test team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahae had refused to give an outright opinion and chose to wait to see what the officials decide.
Veteran cricketers like David Warner and Harbhajan Singh criticised the consideration. While Warner said the ban on saliva was not enough to contain the spread of the virus, Harbhajan opined that saliva and sweat were important components for cricketers to shine the ball.
Among others, batting great Sachin Tendulkar said players would anyway be wary of using saliva to shine the ball, while Pakistan legend Waqar Younis supported the use of spit.
Retired fast-bowlers like Ashish Nehra and Michael Holding dismissed the whole idea of not using saliva and sweat and slammed the governing bodies for even considering such a plan.