Cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra(Kookaburra is an Australian sports equipment company, specialising in cricket and hockey field) is developing a wax applicator to help shine cricket balls as an unusual to the use of saliva, which they hope to have ready in a month, although it still needs to be tested.
There has been widespread predictions that, when cricket does finally return again, the International cricket council the sports administer body, may band the use of saliva, along with sweat, the regular method of shining a ball, because of the risk of transferral of the coronavirus. Instead they are expected to allow the use of artificial substances, although there is no consensus s to what these should be yet.
It has caused widespread debate across the sport, with some famous players and gurus arguing that it is more or less to the legalisation of ball tampering, previously regarded as an terrible crime in the sport.
Others are in favour of it, arguing that if the medical advice in such that saliva is inherently risky, then some form of alternative needs to be developed. They are supported by those who believe that restricting bowlers to the use of sweat alone would fundamentally shift the balance between bat and ball, which is at the heart of the game, irrevocably in favour of the former.
In response to the current situation, Kookaburra have been busy in Australia at their R&D centre developing the artificial wax for polishing the ball, although their use would need to be monitored and controlled by the match umpire.
all amount of the sponge applicator would allow a bowler or player to apply a thin layer of wax to the surface of the ball, which could then be polished and shined in the usual way.
However, although the sample may be ready in a month, it still needs to be tested in actual match conditions, as how it performs in the laboratory is no replacement for the real thing. That means it could be several months before it is ready for widespread use.
What is unclear at this stage is whether this is just an interim solution which can be abandoned once the situation returns to normal or whether this is a permanent modification that the sport will have to accept in a post Covid-19 world.