Former Australia pacer Brett Lee feels the latest ICC guidelines, instructing against the usage of saliva on the balls in the post COVID-19 scenario, will be difficult to implement. The ICC Cricket Committee, led by Anil Kumble, has recommended a ban on the use of saliva in its meeting in the wake of the pandemic. In its guidelines issued on Friday, the ICC said saliva should not be applied to shine the ball.
"When you have done something your whole life from 8,9,10 years of age where you lick your fingers and you put on the ball, it's very hard to change that overnight too," Lee said on Star Sports show 'Cricket Connected'.
Lee, who played 76 Tests and 221 ODIs, however expects some leniency from the world cricket body in this regard. "So, I think there's going to be a couple of occasions, or there's going to be some leniency I think from the ICC, where there may be warnings. It's a great initiative,it's going to be very hard to implement I think, because cricketers have done this for their whole life," added Lee.
Even veteran South African cricketer Faf Du Plessis agreed with Lee, saying the same applied to fielders too. Giving his own example, Du Plessis, said he is used to the habit of taking a bit of his spit on his fingers before catching the ball in the slips. "For the fielders, it's the same. As Brett (Lee) mentions, I'm used to taking a bit of spit on my fingers before I catch the ball at slip. If you look at someone like Ricky Ponting, he has a big spit on his hands every time he tried to catch a ball," Du Plessis said on the same show.
Recently, ace India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, had stressed that applying saliva on the ball was a habit and it will take some practice to get rid of it.