The International Cricket Council (ICC)’s decision to ban saliva and allow sweat for shining a cricket ball has seen bowlers fret about not generating enough swing.
England’s ball manufacturing company British Cricket Balls Ltd, which produces the Dukes balls used in test matches in England, has asked bowlers not to be worried about the saliva ban and advised them to carry a cotton towel.
In wake of the coronavirus crisis, ICC has temporarily banned the practice of using saliva for shining a cricket ball, a technique which has been used by pacers to maintain the ball.
The apex governing body of cricket, however, allowed the bowlers to use sweat but pacers feel it won’t be enough and have urged ICC to allow some alternative to balance the contest between bat and ball.
According to ‘Reuters’ Dilip Jajodia, managing director of British Cricket Balls Ltd, said the bowlers need not to worry and said a ‘proper shaped’ ball will be enough to make the contest fair.
“The ball has to be right in the first place. Whether you apply saliva or perspiration or whatever, these are small things that help,” Reuters quoted Dilip Jajodia as saying.
He also emphasised on the designing of Dukes Balls and said the hand-stitched balls are designed to swing with skill only. One needs not necessarily use anything extra for the bowl to swing.
“We have a proper ball with a hand-stitched seam. It’s designed to swing as long as you have the skill.”
Polyester does not help
The Managing Director of the premier ball manufacturer advised bowlers to carry a cotton towel as Barbadian great Malcolm Marshall used to do.
“The great Malcolm Marshall was always seen with a little cotton towel hanging from his waist.”
When a player vigorously rubs the Dukes ball against his clothes, it releases the wax in it to permeate through leather and shine the ball.
He further added that shining a cricket ball on a polyester surface is just waste of time and suggested the England and West Indies pacers to rub the ball against natural surface like cotton.
“And you see (England captain) Joe Root in a polyester shirt — polishing and polishing the ball. He’s wasting his time, it does not work.
“You should polish it on a natural material like cotton. Just perspiration and cotton. Carry a cotton towel, and you’d be fine.”