Dukes chief rubbishes Kookaburra's wax applicator to shine cricket balls | Daily News


Calls it a coronavirus pandemic 'PR stunt'

Dukes chief rubbishes Kookaburra's wax applicator to shine cricket balls

Dukes, the manufacturers of balls used in English home Tests, have dismissed the need for artificial substances to aid shining if international cricket is played this summer.

Dilip Jajodia, managing director of Dukes, told Sportsmail his hand-stitched products contained sufficient grease to sheen up for swing bowling through traditional rubbing and branded rivals Kookaburra's development of a sponge applicator to be used instead of saliva - amid concerns of Covid-19 contamination - a PR stunt.

One of the concerns shared by bowlers around the world has been how balls will be preserved and buffed up if the use of spit is banned as part of coronavirus measures to resume sport.

‘It's a bit of a PR thing. You can go to a shoe shop and buy a wax pad if you want to get a shine,’ Jadojia said.

‘Our product is a ball fit for purpose. You can see it in its shape, its seam, its hardness. Any bowler worth his salt should be able to get a shine up by rubbing the ball on his trousers.’

Hand-made balls like the Dukes were traditionally made using animal fat but a switch to synthetic grease has been made in recent years.

The effects of rubbing vigorously have not altered, however - the heat and friction created brings a thin layer of oil out of the leather and creates the sleek finish on one side of the ball that is key to producing traditional aerial movement.

In contrast, Kookaburra balls - which are predominantly used for Test cricket in Australasia - are mass produced by machines. The company’s MD Brett Elliott said the production of the pocket-sized applicator represented an ‘interim measure’.

However, allowing players to apply a third-party component to change the condition of the ball under the supervision of the match officials during matches would require a law change by MCC.

And Jajodia says such a course of action is ‘dangerous’ as it is ‘pushing towards an illegal act.’

Amid talk of a universal ball for the World Test Championship last year, the consensus among leading international players appeared to be that Dukes should be the one due to its hardiness. It tends to last its intended 80-over course.

England are scheduled to host two Test series on home soil this summer - with three matches each against West Indies and Pakistan in July and August.

– Daily Mail

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