Sir Garfield says…look after the ball

What question would you ask the greatest all-rounder the game has ever known?

How to polish a cricket ball?

Me neither.

But I heard this from someone who asked this question of Sir Garfield Sobers – just one degree of separation from greatness…and a great tip, too!

The trick is to keep the ball dry, and to polish so hard that the ball becomes hot.  Try it – it really does work.

According to my informant, the technique is as follows:

  1. do not apply any moisture to the ball (except, perhaps, to smooth out any scratches or cuts in the surface);
  2. left hand in trouser pocket, cupped palm outwards;
  3. ball in right hand, polished vigorously against the trouser leg held in the cupped left hand.
    1. polishing the ball against the back of the thigh, possibly with trouser leg held taut also works (no left hand inside the trousers this time), but it is harder to generate enough friction to really put heat into the ball this way.

Result – friction between ball and trousers, a high polish even on an old ball, and heat that you can feel on your face.

And a newly shiny ball that will certainly swing (if you can bowl it properly)!

Published by

Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB CA cricket coach working at the MCC Academy, the Essex Indoor Cricket Centre, and with the junior sections at Oakfield Parkonians CC & Regent's Park CC; All Stars Cricket Activator; ECB ACO umpire.

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