Solution for saliva conundrum? Kookaburra’s wax applicator to allow bowlers shine ball artificially

AFP
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 05, 2020, 05:09 PM(IST)

Sri Lanka cricket match that survived world wars halted by virus Photograph:( AFP )

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Australian cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra is working on wax applicator that will allow players to shine the ball without using saliva or sweat while minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Australian cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra is working on wax applicator that will allow players to shine the ball without using saliva or sweat while minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Generally, players shine one side of the ball and roughen up the other to make the ball swing in the air in a bid to deceive the batsman with the movement. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to give another body blow with the usage of saliva and sweat is expected to be ban in the wake of the global crisis.  

As per the guidelines released by Australian Institute of Sport, last week, rubbing of spit or sweat into the ball’s surface is banned in one of the conditions for the gentlemen’s game to resume.

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Kookaburra said the wax applicator could provide a solution but is in “very early-stage product development.”

“At Kookaburra we are committed to continuous improvement and innovation in the game we love,” general manager David Orchard told AFP.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we are always looking for solutions to allow our game to be played safely by all cricketing communities around the world,” he said.

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Cricket, like other sports, is suspended around the world due to the pandemic and the wax applicator would need approval from governing bodies before the resumption of play.

Kookaburra’s plan involves using a sponge to apply wax to the ball and then shine it as per the requirement of the bowler or the fielding team.

The present law strictly prohibits the use of artificial substances to change the condition of the ball and is regarded as a taboo in the world of cricket. Over the years, bowlers and fielders have been accused of using jelly, resin, lozenges, bottle tops, grit and sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball to their advantage. 

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