Apart from affecting the cricketing schedule in a huge manner, the novel COVID-19 pandemic has also possessed a drastic doubt on one aspect of the game, i.e., the customary way of shining the ball with sweat or saliva.
In times of social distancing when coming in vicinity of an infected person can transfer the disease, several players applying their sweat or saliva on the ball has it in it to have serious health-related consequences.
The recent been talks of banning the usual manner of shining the ball with sweat or saliva has invited opinions in the negative especially from former and current fast bowlers.
With uncertainty regarding the new norms, former and current fast bowlers are expressing concerns due to the fear that lack of shine might hinder the ability to swing the ball which will result in the game further favouring the batsmen.
Ideally, players aren’t allowed to use any “artificial substance” to shine the ball. Having said that, the ongoing global pandemic might make room to tinker the law to support the murmurs of using an artificial substance to shine the ball. It is worth mentioning that the quantity and usage of the substance will require thorough pondering.
Kookaburra Cricket Ball Shine Polish
Australian manufacturer Kookaburra has come up with a polish which will aid the fast bowlers to retain shine on the ball without using their sweat or saliva. It is said that the compound has been derived from existing products used in the footwear industry.
Speaking in an interaction with PA News Agency, Kookaburra Managing Director Brett Elliott opened up on the developments regarding what will be the first-ever such produced used in cricket.
“The most effective mitigating action to avoid risk would be to introduce a temporary ban on the traditional shining method. This could be immediately introduced, enabling cricket to resume as soon as it is safe.
But will it make a kookaburra ball swing? https://t.co/n6NkKA092Q
— Nick Hoult (@NHoultCricket) May 4, 2020
“Kookaburra’s research and development centre in Australia has been working on a product to replace the traditional methods of polishing a ball that could be controlled and managed by the match umpire. We have developed a unique wax formula for polishing a cricket ball,” Elliott was quoted as saying.
Elliott went on to claim that the polish to shine the ball could be available within a month for testing in real match conditions. He also revealed the intention of resuming the sport on the back of an innovation like this.
“The pocket size sponge applicator would enable umpires or players to apply a thin layer of wax which could then be rubbed and polished in a traditional manner to enhance the shine on the ball.
“This could be available within a month, however has it yet to be tested in a match conditions as the ability to complete real trial matches at the moment is inhibited.
“It may not be something we need to make forever, it’s designed to get cricket back and give administrators time to make decisions. Nobody was calling out for this 12 months ago so maybe it is more of an interim measure,” Elliott added.