At a time when it to the light that the ICC was reportedly contemplating to prevent the use of body fluids on the ball to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus among the cricketers, Cricket Australia (CA) is considering to disinfect the ball during a match.
ICC during its meeting last month had discussed the use of artificial substances like vaseline to shine the ball in order to keep the players away from using saliva and sweat to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Now CA’s head of science and medicine Alex Kountouris has said that the Australian board is thinking about disinfecting the ball during a match but admitted that they were yet to figure out the effectiveness of the measure.
“Disinfecting the ball is a consideration. [We] don’t know the impact on the ball as we haven’t tested it yet,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Kountouris as saying.
“The ball being leather it’s harder to disinfect because it’s got little nooks and crevices so we don’t know how effective it’s going to be, we don’t know how infected the ball is going to get and we don’t know if it’s going to be allowed. It is an absolute consideration. Everything is on the table and everything is being considered,” he added.
The ICC Cricket Committee, led by former Indian captain Anil Kumble, has suggested the international governing body of cricket to ban the use of saliva in shining the ball. The ICC Board in a meeting on May 28 is likely to take a final call on the matter.
Kountouris, on the other hand, said that the CA will keep track of what ICC decides and that it would also follow what the governing bodies of other countries come up with.
“From an Australian cricket perspective, probably other countries are going to play before us so we’ve got a chance to work with the ICC and the other countries to see what they come up with and take whatever steps we need to for making sure there’s a lower risk,” Kountouris said.
The head of science and medicine of CA further said that the usage of saliva in the ball is just one risk factor among the “whole bunch of other stuff” that are being discussed upon by the cricket bodies around the world to make the game safer in the post-COVID-19 world.
“The sweat, saliva and the ball itself is only one risk factor. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff: hygiene, sanitising, physical distancing, not sharing equipment are going to be part of the overall risk. So we’re going to take our time and consider all those factors then work with the ICC to try to come up with whatever the final outcome is for elite cricket and community cricket,” he said.