The former Pakistan speedster made the suggestion more than a decade ago
Former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has revealed that he was against the use of saliva or sweat to shine the ball, for more than 10 years.
The application of sweat or saliva to the ball, as it aids swing bowling, has been a tried and trusted friend to fast bowlers throughout the history of cricket.
But the days of applying saliva to one side of the ball to encourage swing could be over in the aftermath of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that Covid-19 is a virus which "spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes" which could lead to cricketers contracting the disease even after the resumption of the game.
“I raised this issue during a board meeting 10-11 years ago but I won’t name who was present during that discussion,” said Akhtar in a YouTube video. “I told them that multiple players use the ball during a match and if someone has a hand or mouth disease, then there are chances that it will spread. So we should stop doing this.”
“But they ridiculed my suggestion and told me to forget about it,” he added.
Earlier, Australian pacer Pat Cummins also shared similar concerns regarding the matter.
“As a bowler I think it would be pretty tough going if we couldn’t shine the ball in a Test match,” said Cummins. “If it’s at that stage and we’re that worried about the spread, I’m not sure we’d be playing sport.”