By Bipin Dani
Dukes, the manufacturers of balls used by England and West Indies in their home Tests, have dismissed the need for artificial substances to aid shining if international cricket is played this summer.
Former India captain Sachin Tendulkar is the latest to show concerns shared by several bowlers around the world that how balls would be preserved and buffed up if the use of saliva is banned as part of COVID-19 measures to resume the game.
“Probably the ICC needs to look at legally allowing application of a wax or other similar substances on a ball, to enable swing movement as bowler’s desire,” Tendulkar said on Saturday.
Dilip Jajodia, Managing Director of Dukes, speaking exclusively over telephone from England said, “‘Adequate’ hand-made balls need no extra substance. The laws of cricket do not allow ‘any’ application of substances on match balls during play.”
“Allowing players to apply a third-party component to change the condition of the ball, even under the supervision of the match officials during matches, would in my view require a law change by MCC. The laws have to be amended before ‘any such suggestion’ should be considered and as far as I know this not going to happen any time soon,” he added.
“If you are passionate about the game, you have a responsibility to think of the long term implications for the game. Hopefully the virus is a short term problem and should not distract the sound thinking process for short term commercial advantage. In the long term, the game should decide on the best ball that provides the best balance for the game. In my view gimmicks are promoted to distract from the real inadequate performance of the products in any conditions,” Jajodia signed off.