Two Sri Lankan doctors have proposed a use of a portable ultraviolet (UV) box to decontaminate the cricket ball in the event the ball goes out of the playing field to the crowds.
Writing to Dr Peter Harcourt, Head, International Cricket Council (ICC) Medical Committee, Professors Arjuna de Silva and Madunil Niriella have asked the ICC to try this option as a solution for minimising cross-contamination during cricket matches in the post-COVID-19 era.
“Although the ICC has very correctly banned the application of saliva on the cricket ball, it still can be contaminated by intentional or unintentional use of saliva. Another potential source of contamination could be when the ball goes out of the playing field into the crowds,” the letter to Dr Peter Harcourt reads.
“In these circumstances, we propose the use of a portable ultraviolet (UV) box, which is already commercially available to sterilise the cricket ball. The box called UV–C is beneficial against viruses and bacteria, and since the ball is an inanimate object, it will be safe to use as well. The process should take about three minutes and will be within the ICC rules as well, given no disinfecting material is applied on to the cricket ball. I hope that the committee will look at this option as a solution for minimising cross-contamination during cricket matches in the post-COVID-19 era,” it adds.
The ICC is yet to respond to the proposal but Prof. De Silva said Sri Lanka could trial it during the home series against Bangladesh. The proposal as professor says will be effective but the process time could be a matter of concern specially in white-ball cricket where the ball sails to the crowd more often than not.