England bowlers work up a sweat amid new coronavirus rules

England bowlers work up a sweat as use of saliva to polish the ball is banned due to coronavirus rules… but plunging temperatures could be a problem for James Anderson and co!

  • England’s bowlers could pat themselves on the back to dismiss the West Indies 
  • Coronavirus rules means that bowlers cannot polish the ball with saliva 
  • However, they are allowed to use sweat to give the ball some shine
  • But plunging temperatures could make it tricky to generate sweat 

England’s bowlers could be patting themselves on the back in a bid to dismiss West Indies batsmen in the first Test of the summer tomorrow.

With the use of saliva to polish the ball banned by the ICC due to temporary Covid-19 regulations — perpetrators face the threat of a five-run penalty — it has limited bowlers to the application of sweat to get it into a condition that promotes swing.

However, with temperatures plunging during England’s internal practice match last week, the lack of perspiration became an issue and bowlers turned to dabbing their fingers underneath the backs of their shirts at the end of bowling an over in a search for moisture to aid the preservation of the Dukes ball.

England bowlers could be made to work up a sweat in their bid to get the West Indies out

New ICC coronavirus rules prohibits saliva from being applied on the ball during games

And with cooler conditions forecast to remain for the #raisethebat series opener starting tomorrow at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, it is a procedure that could continue.

Players reported concerns that the scuff marks in the leather took vigorous rubbing to smooth and shine in the circumstances and fear slowing the over rate as a result.

As of tomorrow, the ICC say umpires ‘will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment’, and fielding sides will be allowed two warnings per innings. But ‘repeated’ use of saliva will result in five penalty runs being added to the batting team’s total.

It means players will use sweat to give the ball an extra shine to generate swing

Cold temperatures meant the bowlers were unable to sweat much during the warm up game

At the start of behind-closed-doors training in May, England’s players were advised not to apply either saliva or sweat to the ball but the ECB recommendations have since softened.

Initial coronavirus guidance to England and West Indies also encouraged the returning of the ball to the bowler directly from the wicketkeeper, although the usual practice of it being relayed around the field was permitted ahead of the teams’ practice matches last month.




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