Australian cricket ball producer Kookaburra is growing a wax applicator that permits gamers to shine the ball with out utilizing saliva or sweat, minimising the danger of COVID-19 transmission.
Gamers repeatedly shine one facet of the leather-clad ball and scuff up the opposite to make the ball swing sideways in mid-flight and deceive the batter.
However rubbing spit or sweat into the ball’s floor is expressly forbidden beneath Australian Institute of Sport pointers launched final week that set out the situations for the sport to renew.
Kookaburra stated its wax applicator, whereas nonetheless in “very early stage product improvement”, might present an answer.
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“At Kookaburra we’re dedicated to steady enchancment and innovation within the recreation we love,” normal supervisor David Orchard advised AFP.
“On account of the COVID-19 pandemic we’re all the time on the lookout for options to permit our recreation to be performed safely by all cricketing communities world wide,” he stated.
Cricket is suspended across the globe due to the pandemic and the wax applicator would want approval from governing our bodies for use when play resumes.
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Kookaburra’s innovation includes utilizing a sponge to use small quantities of wax to the ball.
Present legal guidelines forbid the usage of synthetic substances to change the ball however there’s a lengthy historical past of tampering that goes properly past bowlers spitting on the ball and rubbing it on their clothes.
Take a look at gamers have been accused of utilizing lozenges, petroleum jelly and resin to shine the ball, and likewise scuffing it with bottle tops, trouser zippers and grit.
Essentially the most infamous latest case was in 2018, when some Australian gamers tried to change the ball with sandpaper throughout a Take a look at in opposition to South Africa in Cape City, leading to prolonged bans for these concerned.