ICC recently put a ban on using saliva on the ball due to the global pandemic, and Hayden says that this policy is 'quite strange'.

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Australian legend Matthew Hayden has said he finds ICC’s policy of 'no saliva-yes sweat' quite strange.

The International Cricket Council, earlier this week, put a ban on using saliva to shine the ball due to the global pandemic as it 'elevates the risk of transmission'. While using spit has been shelved for now, sweat will still be permitted.

Speaking about the verdict, Hayden said, "I find the ICC's 'no saliva-yes sweat' decision strange. These are things which are integral to cricket and I don't know how it's going to change. The more sensible option is to test the players properly and ensure that they are COVID negative. If the players in action are virus-free, they should be allowed to use both," Hayden told TOI from Brisbane on Tuesday.

India are to scheduled to play a T20I series in October, which will be followed with a four-Test series for the Border Gavaskar Trophy and a three-match ODI series. It is said that if the tour is cancelled, Cricket Australia will have to bear a loss of approximately 300 million AUD. Hayden believes that the series should only proceed if all the safety precautions are taken.

“Certainly, I think it should proceed if health and safety issues are not compromised. If Cricket Australia can ensure clean stadiums, then I think it should proceed but not until every last health authority in Australia is consulted with. No risks should be taken,” Hayden told IANS.

The southpaw also said that Australia hosting this year’s T20I World Cup is highly unlikely.

"I think the T20 World Cup in Australia this year is highly unlikely. Though the widely-followed rugby league is starting next week here, I will be surprised if the T20 World Cup goes on without travelling fans, more so because it's a global event," Hayden added.

"I don't know if India will be in a position to host the IPL anytime soon, but I completely agree that a tournament like this is important for all associated with the sport. All I want is a decision after taking everything into consideration," Hayden said.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe