The Coronavirus pandemic has stopped everything and put the entire world at a standstill. The spread of COVID-19 has broadly impacted many sports, including cricket. But whenever the healthy life resumes what would be the future of shining a ball in Test cricket. To keep one side of the ball shiny so that the bowlers can generate swing, cricketers tend to use their sweat and saliva. But due to the deadly virus, the whole process could change.
In cricket, shining a ball with sweat and saliva is a run-of-a-mill practice, and it is entirely legal as well, as long as mints aren’t used to gain an illegitimate benefit. Since the Coronavirus is reported to be spread via respiratory droplets, it’s expected that the customary fashion of shining the ball could witness a modification.
But what is the solution of this practice as it can’t be stripped off from the game? Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie has his say on the topic. The Sydney-born cricketer said that umpires would play a huge role and the shining process could be done in front of them after the end of each over.
“I don’t think it’s a quirky question. It’s an actual genuine thing to be considered,” Gillespie told ABC Grandstand as quoted by Foxsports.
“I don’t think anything is off the table. It could be a point where at the end of each over, the umpires allow the players to shine the ball in front of them but you can only do it then,” he added.
On using sweat and whether it’d be a right thing to do, Gillespie said he doesn’t know that using sweat would be appropriate or not, but a discussion regarding this will definitely take place in future.
“I don’t know. Is it just sweat? Can you only use sweat? I don’t have an answer to that, but it certainly will be a conversation that will be had. If you think about it, it is pretty gross,” Gillespie, who captured 259 Test wickets, added further.
The current Aussie paceman Pat Cummins also dropped his thoughts and revealed that before the start of the first ODI played between Australia and New Zealand at SCG last month, this topic was discussed.
Cummins said that in the limited-over format, the shining part doesn’t come into play much as compared to red-ball cricket.
“It’s a tough one. If it’s at that stage where we’re that worried about spread … I’m not sure we’d be playing sport and bringing ourselves out of isolation,” said Cummins.
“The one-dayer, we made it clear we’re obviously really keen to play, but … the way we shined the ball didn’t change,” added the 26-year-old.
“Obviously different with the red ball. As a bowler I think it would be pretty tough going if we couldn’t shine the ball in a Test,” Cummins added further.