Cricket Australia has restricted its players from using sweat from the head, face or neck in the upcoming white-ball Internationals against England, as part of measures to minimize the spread of the global contagion that is Covid-19.
The move comes after the International Cricket Council had already placed a ban on the usage of saliva to shine the cricket ball.
That leaves the players the option to use the sweat from their stomach and back.
The Australian team is currently England to take part in a series of limited-overs Internationals- three ODIs and three T20Is- and with the white Kookaburra ball not really aiding seam and swing, Mitchell Starc feels that the ban will not really have any effect in the upcoming rubber.
“It’s probably not something that’s too relevant in white-ball cricket. Once that new ball starts to go, you’re trying to keep it dry anyway. It’s more of a question for red-ball cricket,” Mitchell Starc told ESPNCricinfo.
“No doubt we’ll find out what it’s like in these practice games and if we need to revisit some planning around it, I’m sure we’ll have a chat before the series gets underway,” he added.
Mitchell Starc on the impact of the sweat ban by Cricket Australia in red-ball cricket
Mitchell Starc, who is also a key member of the Australian Test team, reckoned that the ongoing restrictions could be in place for a long period of time if the situation around the world regarding the novel virus does not improve.
“If the world stays as it is for a little while, those restrictions will still be there. That saliva one will probably be around for a lot longer anyway,” Starc said.
With the use of saliva already banned and now the usage of sweat also under restrictions, Starc feels that the move would have a considerable impact in Test match cricket as far as the balance between bat and ball is concerned, adding that a discussion on the nature of pitches should take place between the home Test summer starts later this year.
“It’s one for the red-ball team to talk about when we get to that point, but at the moment we’re pretty good,” Starc said.