Kookaburra's ball-waxer novel way for cricket to beat coronavirus

Kookaburra cricket balls (Kookaburra Cricket - Twitter)
Kookaburra cricket balls (Kookaburra Cricket - Twitter)

If there's any more evidence needed that the novel coronavirus is inspiring, well, novel ideas of adapting to the pandemic, look no further than Kookaburra's latest invention.

The Australian sports manufacturer is developing a special wax that will allow cricketers to still engage in the time-honoured practice of shining the ball.

The only change is it won't involve using sweat or saliva.

Late last month, the ICC proposed an investigation into formulating legal rules for shining the cherry with the main aim of limiting bodily fluids, a vital consideration given how infectious Covid-19 has proven to be.

"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," Brett Elliott, group managing director of the brand, told Britain's PA news agency.

The product would involve using a sponge applicator to apply a thin layer of the wax.

"This could be available within a month, however, it has to be tested in match conditions as the ability to complete real trial matches at the moment is inhibited," said Elliott.

"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."

Given that the laws of the game state pertinently that "artificial substances" aren’t allowed for changing the condition of the ball, Kookaburra's invention will need approval from the MCC, the sport's lawmakers.

David Warner, ironically banned from cricket for a year for his involvement in the Sandpapergate saga against the Proteas in 2018's Test series, has expressed doubts over the need to curb the use of sweat and saliva.

The Aussie opener believes the risk is no bigger than sharing a dressing room with other players.

- Compiled by Heinz Schenk

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