West Indies pace great Michael Holding has cast doubts on the use of artificial substance to shine the ball instead of saliva or sweat in the post coronavirus world.

There is speculation that the use of saliva on the ball would be stopped to cut down the risk of the disease when international cricket resumes.

Holding said it is a natural inclination for bowlers to apply saliva or sweat to shine the ball.

“It is going to be difficult. The natural inclination for any bowler, once he gets that ball in his hands is to apply saliva or apply sweat and then put it on the ball, that’s natural,” the legendary pacer said on the Sony Ten Pit Stop, a show aired on channel’s Facebook page.

Australian ball-maker Kookaburra has recently started developing a wax applicator as an alternate to saliva or sweat to shine the ball, but Holding said it could be a logistical nightmare.

“Obviously over a period of time, you will learn and you will adjust. I’m hearing talks about producing some sort of polish that the umpires will take, will keep and you shine the ball in front of the umpire. I am not too sure on how that’s going to work, to be honest,” he said.

Will saliva be used to shine cricket balls? Coronavirus could lead to big changes in sports habits

“What sort of polish is that going to be, will it be something that stick on your fingers, will it be slippery, because if that is something that is slippery, you don’t want to be having slippery fingers, to grip the ball it is going to be more difficult, I am waiting to hear all the details.

“It is going to be a different world and as far as I am concerned it will be a logical nightmare to keep all those things in place.”

Holding, who picked 249 wickets from 60 Tests in his career, said he doesn’t understand why there is so much fuss about using saliva when the idea is to resume cricket in a biosecure environment.

“At the moment when you are talking about playing in a biosecure environment ... no spectators, everyone has to be in two-week lockdown before they get into the venue. So that means everyone inside that venue should be free of Covid-19.

“Then I am not sure why you have to worry about saliva or perspiration ... if you are not confident about the two-week period proving enough that you are free of Covid-19, you should not be playing,” he added.

With PTI Inputs