Australian cricketers restricted from using sweat to shine ball on England tour

The tour gets underway on Friday, September 4 with the opening T20I at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

The tour gets underway on Friday, September 4 with the opening T20I at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
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Mitchell Starc. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

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The Australian cricketers have been told, not to use sweat from their head, face and neck to shine the ball during their upcoming tour of England. Earlier, the COVID-19 guidelines forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to modify the rules and hence, they banned the use of saliva.

The rules came into the fore before the resumption of international cricket in July amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Mitchell Starc, the Aussie left-arm speedster, is also looking forward to the slight tweak in the rule.

It might look a bit interesting: Mitchell Starc

“There’s slightly altered guidelines from what people may have seen from the previous England series here. You can’t use sweat from around the face, neck or head and you obviously can’t use saliva,” Starc was quoted as saying in Wisden.

“It might look a bit interesting if bowlers are using sweat off their back, can’t use it off your arms either I don’t think, so it makes for a bit of an interesting one,” he stated.

As per Starc, the new rules shouldn’t affect a bowler in the limited-overs formats and would only come into play in Test cricket.

“Probably not something that’s too relevant in white-ball cricket, once that new ball starts to go you are trying to keep it dry anyway so probably more a question for red-ball cricket,” Starc added.

Australia’s tour of England gets underway on Friday, September 4 with the opening T20I at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. The three-match T20I series will be followed as many ODIs with the tour ending on Wednesday, September 16.

While the T20Is will take place in Southampton, the 50-overs matches will be held at the Old Trafford in Manchester. At the end of 2020, India are scheduled to play the Aussies in bilateral series, which also includes four Tests.

After the tour, the Australian players will be heading to India for the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL). However, Starc won’t be a part of the tournament after he backed out to focus on the T20 World Cup, which had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 57 Tests, 91 ODIs and 31 T20Is, the speedster has 244, 178 and 43 wickets respectively.