Stricter sweat protocols for Australia’s series against England

Back sweat is OK but perspiration from the face and neck is out, so too the arms, as part of the strict protocols Australia will be subjected to when they make their return to international cricket.

The measures governing how players can shine the ball are the tightest seen since the world game resumed in England.

There are tighter restrictions on shining the ball in Australia’s ODI and T20 series against England.Credit:AP

It is in keeping with Australia's no-risk approach, which has seen players wear masks in public in England and on their way to the airport last week at home. They have effectively been adhering to stage three restrictions since just before their departure.

The International Cricket Council has outlawed the application of saliva to the ball but sweat had been allowed in the belief it carried a lower risk of transmitting COVID-19. It still does, but the risk depends on where it is from.

"There's slightly altered guidelines from what people may have seen in the previous England series here," paceman Mitchell Starc said.

"You can't use sweat around the face, the neck, the head, and you obviously can't use saliva.

"It might look a bit interesting if bowlers are using sweat off the back or something like that. You can't use the sweat off your arms either."

Australia's bowlers have been operating under even more stringent training restrictions at home, where they have not been able to use any sweat at all.

"You can't use sweat or any saliva at all. It's slightly more lenient here with the bowler being able to use sweat form certain places," Starc said.

"We saw a bit in the England series, Joff [Jofra Archer] using some sweat off his back and that sort of thing, that's red ball v white ball."

Ball management is less of an issue in limited-overs cricket as the white Kookaburra loses its shine after a handful of overs, after which the bowling team aims to keep it dry.

Australia have not played a limited-overs match against England since last year's World Cup semi-final, when they were thrashed by Eoin Morgan's side after beating them in the group stage.

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