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Kookaburra wax product could replace saliva, sweat for ball shining

Ball Shine
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Kookaburra, the Australian ball manufacturers, are in the process of developing a wax product that could serve as a substitute to sweat and saliva to shine a ball.

Health concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are likely to force a suspension of conventional shining methods, leading to the use of artificial applications, such as the Kookaburra polish that’s being developed.

Kookaburra’s group managing director, Brett Elliott, has said that the product “could be available within a month”, but would be untested to the rigours of actual match conditions.

“The most effective mitigating action to avoid risk would be to introduce a temporary ban on the traditional shining method,” Elliott told PA Agency. “This could be immediately introduced, enabling cricket to resume as soon as it is safe.

“This could be available within a month. However, it has yet to be tested in a match conditions as the ability to complete real trial matches at the moment is inhibited.

In a set of guidelines laid down by Australian Institute of Sport recently, the use of saliva and sweat will remain restricted, as cricket plans to make a careful return in the time of the global pandemic. If the wax product is introduced, it will be used to shine the ball during the match, under the supervision of the umpires. The thin layer of wax would be applied using a pocket-sized sponge.

“It may not be something we need to make forever, it’s designed to get cricket back and give administrators time to make decisions,” Elliot said. “Nobody was calling out for this 12 months ago, so maybe it is more of an interim measure.”

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