Cricket’s governing bodies are considering legal ball tampering to stop the spread of germs between players. Learn the details of legal ball tampering and what it means here.
For cricket to return to its regular schedule, a range of changes are being considered that will affect players, officials, fans and the game’s rules. One of the latest proposals to be reviewed is to allow one form of ball tampering.
Ball tampering has been a heavily criticized action that can result in severe consequences for players and teams. However, this new type of ball tampering will not be deemed as such. Instead, it will be a way to ensure fairness of the game. While also mitigating the chances of germs being spread among players on the field.
The proposals being studied will enable cricket to get back to normal while safeguarding player safety. It could also make online betting on cricket even more exciting. Learn the details here.
Legal Ball Tampering: What Are the Details?
It is common for bowlers to use their saliva to shine the cricket ball. This will help them achieve reverse and conventional swing when needed. Officials allow this practice because they too recognize the need for polishing the ball to ensure a fairer balance of play as the game goes on.
Therefore, they are considering giving players an artificial substance to use to shine the ball, so they do not have to use their saliva. This substance will, in effect mitigate the chances of germs spreading between the bowler and any other player who has contact with the ball. The spray will be applied to the ball under the umpire’s supervision to ensure it is being used correctly – and only the recognized substance is used.
Professional cricketers in Australia have voiced agreement with the considered legal ball tampering and suggest without it the bowlers’ game would be ‘intolerable’. There are further calls for the substance to be available at grassroots levels of the game as well.
Is There a Sticking Point?
There are some concerns about the rule’s implementation in practicality. For example, different ball types may respond to the same substance in different ways. SG Balls, Dukes and Kookaburra, will all likely respond in different ways to a material based on wax, polish or something else.
If different balls and substances are used it may make the game a little less predictable and more exciting. It would also make betting on the games more fun and may require a little more research on the gambler’s part.
This new rule may end up becoming the norm for cricket players as they try to make the game more hygienic going forward. It could begin with a trial and end up fostering into a blanket rule for every cricket tournament to adopt.
A Brief History of Ball Tampering
Ball tampering with substances is not new. There has been a history of players coming up with innovative and illegal ways to enhance the cricket ball for their needs. Some have used sugar from lollies and mints to improve the grip of the ball, while others have used wool wax applied from their cricket whites.
But this new practice will be completely legal – and could change the sport for good.