English bowlers are sweating because the use of saliva to polish the ball is prohibited due to coronavirus rules … but plunging can be a problem for James Anderson and Co!
- The bowlers of England could pat themselves on the back to fire the West Indies
- Coronavirus rules mean that bowlers cannot brush the ball with saliva
- They can use sweat to give the ball some shine
- However, the high temperatures can make it difficult to generate sweat
The English bowlers could pat themselves on the back in an attempt to fire West Indian batsmen during the first test of the summer on Wednesday.
Using saliva to polish the ball banned by the ICC due to temporary Covid-19 regulations – offenders face the threat of a five-point penalty – it has limited bowlers to applying sweat to put it in a condition that promotes swing.
However, with temperatures dropping during England’s internal exhibition game last week, the lack of perspiration became an issue and bowlers started dabbing their fingers under the backs of their shirts at the end of bowling and looking for moisture to maintain the Dukes ball.
English bowlers could be made to work up a sweat trying to get the West Indies out
New ICC coronavirus rules ban the use of saliva during matches – Indian captain Virat Kohli (above) shines the ball during their game against Bangladesh last year
And with cooler conditions expected to remain for the opener of the # raisethebat series, starting at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, this is a procedure that could continue.
Players reported concerns that the abrasions in the leather were rubbing vigorously to become smoother and shiny under the circumstances, fearing the overshoot.
As of Wednesday, the ICC says referees will “address the situation with some leniency during an initial adjustment period,” and field players receive two warnings per innings. But “repeated” use of saliva will result in adding five penalty points to the batting team’s total.
At the start of the training behind the closed doors in May, England players were advised not to put saliva or sweat on the ball, but the ECB’s recommendations have since been softened.
Initial coronavirus guidance to England and the West Indies also encouraged the return of the ball to the bowler directly from the wicket-keeper, although the usual practice of passing the ball across the field was allowed prior to the teams’ exhibition games last month.
It means players will use sweat to give the ball an extra shine to generate swing