Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts flagged a flurry of new rules for cricket in reaction to the COVID-19 crisis that has hit the sport. Roberts has suggested practices such as using spit to shine a ball need to be replaced by tried and tested methods to get the ball moving, sandpaper.
“We have a rich history in using innovate ways to shine the ball and I really think it can play to Australia’s advantage. We all want players to return to a safe playing environment and removing spit from the game is a necessity”, Robert said.
“We also wouldn’t be allowing just any type of sandpaper to be used. We would restrict it to fine or very fine grit sandpaper varieties. As in our experience this has worked best to get movement from the ball.”
It’s a sad time for the sport with the advent of social distancing regulations impacting a variety of cricket traditions. Roberts went on to say: “We may have seen our last tongue in ear celebration which was pioneered by Merv Hughes. It’s a sad day indeed.”
Steve Waugh, ex Australian cricket captain also weighed into the debate suggesting that many Australian hallmarks would continue. “Even with social distancing we can continue to sledge like the World Champions we are”.
India is still planning a tour of Australia later in the year and when asked if India would also be allowed access to sandpaper Australian cricket captain Tim Paine replied: “The only way to stop India is to stop Kohli. We have active plans in place to make him an Australian citizen and have him play for us instead. As soon as he lands we’ll hand him some sandpaper and say ‘welcome to the team.'”
Cricket Australia is also looking at new measures for the bowling team where they will be given 5 minutes each drinks break to use a range of power tools on the ball including an industrial grade polisher.
Exciting new fan engagement ideas are also being considered with a lucky viewer or ‘fan of the match’ gets to keep the official match sandpaper.
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