Kookaburra’s wait for ICC approval on wax applicator continues

Kookaburra's wax applicator will need to be approved before it can be used as an alternative to saliva in matches.

Kookaburra balls are used in all limited-overs cricket. England, Ireland and the West Indies use Dukes for Test matches, while India uses balls manufactured by Sanspareils Greenlands, commonly known as SG.

The use of artificial substances to shine the cricket ball in the light of saliva ban remains an uncertain prospect with Australian manufacturer Kookaburra still awaiting the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) approval to use its newly developed wax applicator.

“Kookaburra is at the mercy of cricket’s governing bodies on this one. The wax applicator will need to be approved before it is used as an alternative to saliva, and we must respect that,” said David Orchard, general manager at Kookaburra.

The ICC last week ratified its Cricket Committee’s temporary recommendation to prohibit the use of saliva to polish the ball to counteract the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: ICC approves saliva ban, introduces COVID-19 replacements in Tests

 

With England set to host the West Indies for a three-match Test series behind closed doors from July 8, international cricket is eyeing a return for the first time since March. However, the lack of cricketing action at the domestic and international level has meant that Kookaburra has been unable to test its product under match conditions. This has brought the focus back on potential solutions to the problem of shining the ball.

“We produce a standardised ball that can be used on all surfaces globally to ensure balance between bat and ball. As you are well aware, the weather, pitch conditions and the skill of the bowler play a role in the performance of the ball on any given day and this must be factored into any scenario,” said Orchard when asked about the extent to which the applicator could help bowlers.

“Whether the wax applicator is used as a substitute for saliva to assist in shining the ball, our intentions were for this to be used as a way to protect players (given the pandemic) and allow the game we love to continue safely.”

Kookaburra balls are used in all limited-overs cricket. England, Ireland and the West Indies use Dukes for Test matches, while India uses balls manufactured by Sanspareils Greenlands, commonly known as SG.

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