Australia batting legend Matthew Hayden has termed ICC’s recommendation to ban the application of saliva to shine ball in wake of coronavirus pandemic as strange.

The ICC Cricket Committee, headed by Anil Kumble, did allow the usage of sweat though but Hayden feels that testing players is the sensible thing to do and if they are virus free, should be allowed to use both.

“I find the ICC’s ‘no saliva-yes sweat’ decision strange,” Hayden told The Times of India. “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.”

The cricket world is in disarray and there’s no certainty when tournaments will be held again. Two of the biggest events this year – IPL and Men’s T20 World Cup – are in jeopardy.

While ICC and Cricket Australia – host of T20 World Cup, are maintaining a positive outlook, Hayden isn’t sure if the global event can go ahead under the present circumstances.

“I think the T20 World Cup in Australia this year is highly unlikely,” he said. “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.”

The 48-year-old though admits the importance of big tournaments as livelihoods depend on them. “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,” he said.

Hayden, who scored over 15,000 runs across formats during his international career, said once cricket resumes, for players, it will be like “returning from retirement”.

However, he doesn’t see any problem in players getting back into match mode soon.

“Yes, it isn’t easy, but many of us have shown that you can be successful. And in this case it is true for every cricketer…Yes, it will take a couple of weeks to get back into match mode, but it shouldn’t be a huge problem because athletes at this level are doing the training necessary to stay in shape,” he said.