The ongoing coronavirus crisis has wreaked tremendous havoc on the international sporting calendar. In addition to its negative impacts on the scheduling of international fixtures, the COVID-19 issue is set to change the dynamics of shining the ball in cricket as well.
Polishing the ball is considered to be one of the more menial tasks in cricket but it reaps immense rewards as it assists in generating steep reverse swing. With players using saliva to keep one part of the ball shiny, the cricket authorities are now mulling over banning this practice and allowing the use of artificial substances to polish the red ball.
Decision-makers thus find themselves in a quandary in having to legalize an act, which was deemed unfair and declared to be akin to cheating. The stigma of ball-tampering might become a thing of the past now if these developments take place.
Ball-tampering, largely vilified through the years, became a major offense when Australia’s Cameron Bancroft was found to be using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the infamous Cape Town Test in 2018.