Sydney: Australian run-machine Marnus Labuschagne is willing to “sacrifice” the use of saliva to shine the ball in order to get back on the field in the post COVID-19 world as the batting all-rounder feels players must be able to adapt to new rules.
There has been widespread speculations that the use of saliva and sweat to shine the ball will be stopped to cut down the risk of spreading the highly contagious coronavirus when cricket restarts.
“The objective for everyone is to get back on the field, so whatever sacrifices or slight tweaks in the game that need to be made… for us as players, it’s about being adaptable and being able to abide by those new laws, if that is the case,” Labuschagne was quoted as saying by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald‘.
The 25-year-old leg-spinner admitted that it would be strange if the practice is banned as the action has become a habit for the ball shiners on the field.
“In terms of shining it, it will be slightly strange. When you’re on the field it’s so natural if you’re one of the ball shiners to get the ball and put a little bit of saliva on your finger and try to buff out some of the rough areas of the ball,” Labuschagne said.
“If that doesn’t happen, then that’s the way it is. That’s just how we’re going to have to deal with this situation,” he added.
The issue of legalisation of ball tampering has led to divided opinions with West Indies pace great Michael Holding saying it is a bit “self contradictory”, while South Africa legend Allan Donald being open to the idea.
Among others, batting great Sachin Tendulkar said players will be wary of using saliva to shine the ball, while star Australia opener David Warner, Pakistan legend Waqar Younis, former India pacer Ashish Nehra and spinner Harbhajan Singh have supported the use of spit.