Earlier this month, the ICC Cricket Committee recommended the ban on usage of saliva to shine the ball amid the coronavirus pandemic. The recommendations only allowed the use of sweat to maintain the shine on the ball.
Shaun Pollock, who was the part of the committee responsible, has now opened up on the thought process behind the recommendations.
In a conversation with Simon Doull, Pollock revealed that allowing the use of sweat is the 'safest way' to go ahead with the resumption of cricket.
"Well I was actually in the committee, so there was a lot of discussion. I think some of the batsmen would've thought, 'well let's just leave the ball and it doesn't have to shine really, does it? You can still bowl with it, and it's not going to create much more trouble for us'," Pollock said in a video posted by ICC.
"But as bowlers we know that we need something moist to get down the scuff marks that are made on that ball. The focus is also on the face, that's the way the disease is transmitted, through the mouth, nose and eyes. So anyway you can not touch the face during the play would be better. (ALSO READ: Sourav Ganguly frontrunner for ICC chairman? What we know so far)
"There are artificial substances, maybe wax, maybe they could be used and a polishing tile. But I think the safest way to go, and to try and keep the normality, is just allowing sweat."
When Simon Doull asked Pollock if there will be punishments for players who do apply saliva on the ball, the former South Africa captain said that certain measures will be applied to keep player more alert in such situations.
On the latest episode of Cricket Inside Out, Shaun Pollock and Simon Doull discuss the merits of barring the use of saliva to shine the ball. pic.twitter.com/uh654XPlfa— ICC (@ICC) May 24, 2020
"I think it's fine, I think it's a sensible decision, Polly, that you guys on the committee have come to. I guess my question back to you would be around, how are you going to police this, and are there going to be fines?" Doull asked.
"We don't want to be changing the ball every second over, so there will be a bit of an education process going to the players that they can't afford to (spit on the ball)," replied Pollock. (ALSO READ: 'Social distancing huddle': Ravi Shastri funnily follows ICC's new guidelines with his dogs)
"But the last thing you want to do is stopping the game every third delivery because someone's put some spit. And obviously warnings - if you're a repeat offender then we're going to have to try to implement something to make you really think about it to make sure you don't do it."
"I think the real concern will be down to Test matches, you know, that's the longer period of play. It's uncharted territory really, we'll have to see how it goes. And there will be a lot of things implemented. But I think it will be for the match officials to really tell the captains and try to enfore it and make sure they pay attention on what needs to be done."