Australian Spin legend Shane Warne has offered a unique answer to the question of how to swing the ball without using saliva or sweat. He has suggested that using weighted balls to help pace bowlers generate swing without health risking health when cricket resumes after the coronavirus shutdown.
Warne feels it can help fast bowlers generate swing even on flat wickets and permanently eradicate ball-tampering.
The traditional way of shining the ball by rubbing it with sweat and saliva to generate swing is likely to be discontinued on health grounds when cricket restarts after the pandemic have subsided.
“Why can’t the ball be weighted on one side so it always swings? It would be like a taped tennis ball or like with the lawn bowls,” the former leg-spinner told Sky Sports Cricket Podcast.
There is speculation that the use of saliva to shine the ball will be stopped to cut down the risk of the highly contagious.
Responding to the extraordinary situation, Australian manufacturer Kookaburra has started developing a wax applicator to enhance the shine, which could be ready in a month, as an alternative to saliva and sweat to help bowlers shine cricket balls in the post-COVID-19 world. But Warne offered an alternative aid.
Warne said, “I’m not sure you’d want it to hoop around corners like Wasim (Akram) and Waqar (Younis) but it could swing and give the seamer something on flat wickets when it’s hot and the pitch is at its flattest on day two, day three.”
He said, Pakistan greats Akram and Younis are considered the foremost exponents of reverse swing, which is generated by shining one side of the ball while keeping the other side rough.
He said a weighted ball would also pre-empt any ball-tampering. It would actually be a perfect way to move forward, as you know, no one needs to do anything to the ball.
He added, “You wouldn’t have to worry about anyone tampering with it with bottle tops, sandpaper, or whatever. It would be a good competition between bat and ball.”
He said, while bats have become bigger and lighter, the ball has not evolved over the years and his suggestion can bring about a balance. Have a look at how the bats have evolved.
He said, “If you pick up one of the bats you started within the 80s, and then one you used at the end of your career, it’s like four of your old ones stuck together – but the thing is lighter!”
“So why has the ball not evolved? If anything, it has got worse,” he added.
Shane Warne – History
Shane Warne, born on September 13, 1969. He is widely regarded as one of the finest bowlers in the history of the game. He played his first Test match in 1992 and took over 1,000 international wickets (in Tests and One-Day Internationals).
A useful lower-order batsman, Warne also scored over 3000 Test runs. He played domestic cricket for his home state of Victoria, and English domestic cricket for Hampshire. He also captained the Rajasthan Royals to victory in the IPL in 2008.
He retired from international cricket in 2007. He officially retired from all formats in 2013 and currently commentates for Foxtel.
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