Cricket: Kiwi quicks weigh in on proposed spit-shining ban

Using saliva to shine the ball has always been an integral part of the game of cricket, helping bowlers swing the ball through the air.

But the coronavirus has started a conversation for those involved in the game that could see the act consigned to the past.

Swing bowling has been New Zealand’s biggest weapon in international cricket for years, a proud tradition that could take a big hit if spit-shining a ball is outlawed.

"It’d be a sad day when you think a bit of saliva is not allowed on the ball," Former NZ quick Danny Morrison told Newshub.

Making one side shinier than the other is a key element to helping the ball swing.

While many players have pushed the boundaries in their attempts of doing that in the past - most infamously Australia's Steve Smith and David Warner - using saliva has stood the test of time.

"That’s been something we’ve used in our time," said Blackcaps paceman Tim Southee."And it seems to work and seems to get the ball swinging for us.

But using saliva has come under the microscope since the coronavirus has hit the sporting world for six.

A pathologist told Newshub that any activity that could possibly transmit the virus is best avoided, and that using saliva to shine the ball would be one of them.

"What else will do a similar job?" Southee questioned. "Sweats another one, but whether that’s something that you can put on the ball or whether that’s outlawed as well."

If it is outlawed, there are fears it would swing the game back into the batsman’s favour.

"They’re still dominating, and I think it would be a sad day in terms of saliva going out of it," said Morrison.

Watch the full story above