Do You Lick Your Balls


A bit of a baited title, but it is not that far away from the truth as cricketers do spit on the cricket ball and have for decades. More like spitting into your hand and then applying the saliva to help with the shining of the ball. A ball can do funny things when one side is rough or less shiny than the other.

Next thing they will be banning army boots from kicking anyone as we all used to spit and polish.

The reason why this has come up now is because of the damn Corona virus and the ICC is debating whether or not it is a good or bad thing. Obviously not right now as thinking about it the ball is just one germ riddled missile. Cricketers will try anything to get the ball to do extra things and the saliva does help the ball swing around in the air. If I am not mistaken baseballers also spit into their gloves before pitching the ball.

The thing is how many sick cricket teams have you seen and the answer is none. Look I wouldn't say it is exactly healthy when you start to think about it but all of us that have played the sport have all done it. Hell I think sharing a box which the school teams used to do is more disgusting. We had a box that had survived a good 40 seasons in our team kit bag that must have been used by close to 1000 kids.


If the ICC bans saliva on the ball then they need to at least allow sweat which is another liquid that is also applied to help shine the surface. This ball is really starting to sound quite disgusting to non sporting people. You must have seen fast bowlers in the 1990's using zinc on their faces and it wasn't for sun protection as it was also part of the recipe for helping the ball swing. A team that looked after the ball normally had an advantage over teams that didn't as they extracted extra things from the ball.

This saliva thing with the ball will be banned as Kookaburra who are the main ball manufacturer are already seeing a new line. Hitting the sporting stores near you will be a wax lubricant which will replace saliva in the future. There was talk of a weighted ball favoring one side but that would just change the sport entirely.I have a question for the ICC and what happens if a spectator catches the ball? Do you spray sanitizer on it as you can't make the game 100 percent safe if you are being realistic. You can't swap the ball either as it changes the balance of the game entirely. So will sanitiser not be allowed on the field as I am sure it would make a great shining replacement.

Personally they can ban it but what are they going to do if a player spits into his hands off camera and shines the ball. Old habits die hard and I hope they find a cure soon as this wretched thing is changing too many things. Think of how our immune system coped with a gobbed riddled ball for all these years and now one bug puts a stop to it. Future generations will die from the common flu if everything is sterile around them.


We all know that as far the integrity of the game is concerned, spitting on the ball is the least of crickets problems!

I think there is a legitimate health concern. I was reading a study the other day that links a very large number of cases within Europe to a single apre-ski party in the Alps during the February half-term. The bar in question had multiple beer pong tables which must have been like a wet dream for a communicable disease. The dynamics are not too disimilar to a cricketer licking their fingers and rubbing the ball and then throwing it to their teammate who does the same!

I agree it is a legitimate health concern and there are bigger problems within the game itself.

They do this all the time in baseball too. It seems so gross!

Not that gross when you are playing. Never really thought about it as everyone does it. One player used to suck mints as he thought his gob could shine the ball better then.


Great title! Interesting situation.

I think it is obvious that the ban will go through and a permanent ban on body fluids on the ball besides sweat from your palms. It is not healthy and can see where and why people think it is gross.

Yeah, I agree. Like @bozz said, I know its done in baseball. Never knew it was done for cricket. It'll be banned but difficult to enforce....people....

In cricket I think it is worse. The ball has to last a minimum of 80 overs before it is changed which in theory means that the ball is passed through team mates 479 times with most of them adding something to it. reverse swing happens when the weight of the ball changes and the weight is in fact saliva soaked into the leather.

Personally I think the ban will be lifted once a vaccine is found.

Maybe and that is a big maybe.I think cricket has moved on and once the wax polish is introduced any spit will be illegal.