Cricket can resume normally and even use of saliva to shine the ball won't pose any health risk if the matches are played inside bio-secure environment, reckons South African pace great Shaun Pollock. The ICC Cricket Committee recently recommended a ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball but allowed sweat as an interim measure to counter the coronavirus threat. England will make bio-secure arrangements to host the West Indies behind closed doors for a proposed three-Test series and Pollock said such environment would not require banning any activity.
"I think the environment that'll end up being created is almost going to be like a bubble. People will get tested, they'll go into a two-week camp where they're just going to sit and monitor how the conditions of their bodies change," Pollock told the 'Following On Cricket Podcast'.
"And if there are no symptoms, it doesn't really matter about shining the ball then, because you're in the bubble and no one you come into contact with will have coronavirus. So you can just get on with normal proceedings."
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is planning to put up a set of safety measures to prevent spread of the contagious disease. It includes limiting travel by picking venues with on-site hotels, mandatory 14-day quarantine period for the visiting team, doing regular check-ups.
"I'd presume that there'd be no crowds in place, every single environment they go into would be cleaned down and sprayed, and everything along those lines," said Pollock, who has has played 303 ODIs and 101 Tests for South Africa. West Indies pace great Michael Holding has echoed similar sentiments, saying it is illogical to ban saliva when cricket will be played in a bio-secure environment.
The issue has left the cricketing world divided with calls growing for an alternative to saliva from former and current cricketers including lead India pacer Jasprit Bumrah. There are speculations that the T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November this year will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 46-year-old, who has captained South Africa in all formats of the game, said Australia is well-placed to create a bio-secure environment to host the big-ticket event. "I think Australia is probably in the best scenario to create a little bit of a vacuum or bubble where maybe things can happen," he said.
A decision on the fate of the T20 World Cup and the proposed ban on saliva is likely to be taken during the ICC board meeting on Wednesday.