Competitive cricket is set to resume in Australia for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck the globe when the Darwin and District Cricket Competition season begins with a T20 tournament from June 6. The cricketers will not be allowed to use sweat or saliva to shine the ball in the competition and Darwin Cricket Management (DCM) group is exploring various options, including having umpires involved in ball-shining using a wax applicator.
Clubs will be required to complete a Covid-19 safety plan assessment and submit it to the Northern Territory Government before they can play. Some details are still being worked out with Cricket Australia, according to a report on cricket.com.au.
"The ICC is working really closely with all the cricket bodies around the world in terms of finding new ways," DCM chair Lachlan Baird told ABC Grandstand. "We're confident we will haver clear guidelines from CA with what is and isn't going to be allowed."
"Some consideration is now being given to whether things like that wax applicator will become part of cricket's new normal. And whether it will move way from the ball being shined – a dark mysterious art that happens in the outfield – to a more formalised process that happens with the umpires being involved." The use of wax would contravene current regulations unless a change is approved by the ICC, but would be a far safer and hygienic process amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood strongly feel shining the red ball is imperative to keep a balance between bat and ball. Ball manufacturer Kookaburra last month suggested using a pocket-sized sponge applicator. It could either be applied by umpires or simply overseen by them.