Australia restricts usage of saliva, sweat to shine the ball

Melbourne: Australia has restricted the usage of saliva and sweat to shine the cricket ball.

This decision has been taken under a framework released by Australia’s federal government about the staged return of professional and recreational sport amid the coronavirus pandemic, ESPNCricinfo reported.

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has drawn the guidelines with the help of medical experts, sporting bodies, and federal and state governments.

The guidelines have outlined a staged return of sport at all levels. Cricket Australia’s chief medical officer John Orchard was also involved in the preparation of the framework.

Under the AIS framework, restrictions on sport are currently outlined as being at “Level A” restricting all training except that of the individual kind.

But soon there will be a shift to “Level B” and it will allow net sessions in which batters will be able to face bowlers. However, bowlers will be limited for the session. Level B will also allow for unrestricted fielding sessions.

Under Level B, warm-up drills involving unnecessary person to person contact has not been allowed. Ball shining with sweat/saliva has also been not allowed under training, ESPNCricinfo reported.

The third and final “Level C”, will be permitted later in the year and it is outlined as: “Full training and competition. No ball shining with sweat/saliva in training.”

Shining the ball is a major thing for bowlers in trying to extract some swing from the match. As the game starts swaying in favour of batsmen by each passing day, bowlers have to try everything they can in trying to trouble the batsmen.

Earlier this year, even India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was skeptical of using saliva on the ball ahead of the ODI series against South Africa.

“We are taking every precaution we can. We have a team of doctors with us, who are advising us on dos and don’ts. We have a meeting with our doctors. If they advise us to not use saliva on the ball, then we will follow it. So, it all depends upon the instructions given by the doctor,” Bhuveshwar Kumar had said during a press conference earlier this year.

Right now, no sport is being played as all top tournaments like IPL, Premier League, LA Liga have been suspended and there is no certain answer as to when all these competitions will resume.

Wimbledon 2020 has been cancelled for the first time since World War II and Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for the first time.

The World Health Organisation had termed coronavirus as a ‘pandemic’ on March 11.

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