How To Shine An Old Cricket Ball & Why It Helps Bowler?

An old cricket ball provides several benefits to bowlers, allowing professional players greater advantage on the pitch. Bowlers can shine old cricket balls to achieve better swing, dynamic bounces, and better air travel for their pitches. Many professional cricketers engage different practices to maintain cricket balls during game.

Let’s explore how to shine a cricket ball, why it helps bowlers, and other vital information related to the subject below.

How to Shine an Old Cricket Ball

You can shine an old cricket ball by using any of these methods:

  • rub it against a smooth piece of cloth (preferably cotton),
  • apply a liquid solution (sweat, water, etc.) to the rough edges before rubbing it onto a smooth cloth
  • rubbing wax on the ball’s surface before shining it out

It is worth noting that older cricket balls may need multiple shine methods to retain a better appearance.

Why Does Shining Cricket Balls Help Bowlers?

Bowlers shine cricket balls to achieve better air travel during cricket games. These professionals will employ different shining methods to trap air at one end of the ball while boosting mid-air travel on its other side.

Shining the balls allows greater spin since one end of the ball must react to opposing forces mid-air. The result of shining cricket balls will be a swinging effort, likely to get batters confused or create problems for them during games.

What Do Bowlers Use in Shining Cricket Balls?

Bowlers can apply saliva, sweat, water, or wax to clean cricket balls. Many of these are not illegal in cricket; however, there have been recommendations to provide official smoothing aids during games.

Why Do Bowlers Prefer Sweat to Clean Cricket Balls?

Team India cricketer Mohammad Shami revealed why bowlers prefer using sweat to other liquids while cleaning cricket balls:

We use sweat to make the ball heavier and softer but reverse swing needs saliva, it keeps the ball harder, shinier and the ball reverses also. Now the challenge will be not to use our saliva which will be our biggest challenge,” he said.

Why Do Bowlers Shine One Side of a Cricket Ball?

Bowlers attempt to shine out one side of a cricket ball to influence its air dynamics. Shining one part of the bowl while keeping its other side rough can help bowlers pitch better towards opposing batters. The practice is mostly referred to as swing bowling and creates a special effect on balls.

Why Do Bowlers Rub Cricket Balls on their Trousers?

Bowlers usually rub one end of the cricket ball on their trousers to remove its characteristic shine. This practice mostly applies to all types of balls; however, bowlers will likely apply such practice to new cricket balls. Removing the shine on one end of a cricket ball allows bowlers maintain greater swing power during games.

Does the Shine on Cricket Balls Wear Off?

The shine on cricket balls tend to wear off after few overs. New cricket balls will end up worn out and rough on both sides before the end of cricket games, even in quicker formats.

Why Do Cricket Balls Wear Out So Easily?

Cricket balls wear out because of their base material. Most professional cricket balls are made from animal skin. Animal skin is responsive to wear and tear, limiting the shelf life of balls as soon as they get into play during overs.

Batters swing at these balls to create rough edges upon impact. Impact on sand during bowling also greatly affects the overall appearance and quality of cricket balls during games.

Why are Cricket Balls Not Made with One Rough and Smooth Side Respectively?

Standard cricket laws do not suggest making cricket balls to have one rough side and a smooth side. There are strict design regulations each cricket ball manufacturer must follow to avoid sanctions. A long list of laws determines the appearance, weight, dimensions, and material used in making cricket balls.

When is the Cricket Ball Best for Bowlers?

Bowlers usually prefer cricket balls as the game approaches few overs in. Abrasion from the pitch and impact from batters’ swings will change the overall appearance and surface grip of cricket balls. Bowlers will try to achieve a shine on one side of the ball after such abrasion to boost its reverse potential.

Experienced bowlers can take advantage of the rough balls to swing at batters to achieve greater swing and unpredictable bounces.

When is the Cricket Ball Best for Batters?

Batters do not have a favourite cricket ball, as their main goal is to hit cross-boundary strikes or fours at the very least. Batsmen will prepare to swing at balls with similar tactics across overs in a cricket game.

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