Anil Kumble
Former Indian cricket player and coach Anil Kumble during the Board of control of cricket in India (BCCI) Awards red carpet in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020.
Associated Press

The aged-old trick to shine a cricket ball could be a thing of the past when cricket resumes, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) recommending a change to the sport’s laws in the wake of the controversial coronavirus virus.

The committee, chaired by former Indian spinner Anil Kumble, unanimously agreed to recommend a ban on saliva although players will still be allowed to use their own sweat to try and achieve the fabled ‘reverse swing.’

Cricketers have long used saliva and sweat to shine one side of the ball while allowing the other to become increasingly scuffed over the course of an innings.

In this Nov. 16; 2019; file photo; India’s captain Virat Kohli shines the ball during their cricket test match against Bangladesh in Indore; India. A move to ban the use of saliva to shine a cricket ball because of the danger of transmitting COVID-19 may force bowlers to relearn or reinvent one of the sport’s most prized but troublesome skills.Associated Press / Aijaz Rahi, File

The technique alters the aerodynamics of the ball, allowing the fast bowlers to generate movement in the air.

The committee saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat as it is unlikely the virus can be transmitted that way, the ICC said, adding, that the recommendations would be presented to its Chief Executives’ Committee for approval in early June.

An Australian cricket-ball manufacturer Kookaburra says it is developing a wax applicator to enhance shine and aid swing.

Cricket has been suspended since March due to the pandemic which has killed over 320,000 people globally.

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