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Cricket ball-maker offers unique solution as a substitute for saliva

England’s top ball manufacturer has some tips for bowlers currently in distress about being unable to generate swing due to the infamous saliva ban brought forth due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Carry a cotton towel.”

Polishing one side with sweat and saliva has been used by pacers for centuries to change the aerodynamics of the ball but the International Cricket Council banned the use of saliva this month to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Pacers can still make use of sweat however some of them wont be too hopeful when cricketing action resumes.

Dilip Jajodia, managing director of British Cricket Balls Ltd, which produces the Dukes balls used in test matches in England, says they need not worry.

“The ball has to be right in the first place. Whether you apply saliva or perspiration or whatever, these are small things that help,” Jajodia told Reuters by telephone.

“We have a proper ball with a hand-stitched seam. It’s designed to swing as long as you have the skill. And now that ICC has confirmed that you can use perspiration, I don’t see any problem.” he added.

When a player vigorously rubs the Dukes ball against his clothes, it releases the wax in it to permeate through leather and shine the ball, said Jajodia.

Jajodia has advised both English and West Indian pacers in their upcoming contests is to carry a cotton towel like Barbadian great Malcolm Marshall.

“The great Malcolm Marshall was always seen with a little cotton towel hanging from his waist. And you see (England captain) Joe Root in a polyester shirt — polishing and polishing the ball. He’s wasting his time, it does not work. You should polish it on a natural material like cotton. Just perspiration and cotton. Carry a cotton towel, and you’d be fine.” he concluded.

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