RICHARD ORD: Tackling the big issues of coronavirus and cricket balls

Day 31 of lockdown and I awake with the same question. Is today the day I shave or the day I change my underwear?

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 12:00 am

And for the 31st day on the trot, I do neither.

There will, of course, be bigger questions to come, but great minds are at work on some of the more pressing issues.

Like the mind of Australian cricketer Jason Gillespie who asked if, after lockdown, we will be allowed to shine the cricket ball using the age-old method of applying spit and sweat?

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"I don't think it's a quirky question,” he said in a radio interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “It's an actual genuine thing to be considered."

As ‘actual genuine things to be considered’ go it’s up there with the best. I look forward to the International Cricket Council’s white paper on the matter.

Fortunately, I have been stockpiling my own healthy sweat and spit for a number of years now in readiness for such a pandemic.

It’s pretty good stuff too. One cupful could last you a whole game. Simply dip the ball in the sweat and sputum mix before each delivery and polish away. At £3.75 a gallon I think it’s reasonable value.

Perhaps the issue will be raised in higher circles. Maybe Boris will address the spit or no spit question when he eventually reappears. I suspect, however, that the PM is keeping a low profile given how events have unfolded.

After all, he contracted COVID-19 after failing to carry out the very social distancing he instructed us all to follow. It is also probably dawning on him that his bus pledge of diverting £350million a week from the EU to the NHS (which he had no intention of ever doing) is unlikely to be enough to get us up to par with the best in Europe.

On top of that, he has railed against face coverings, likening Muslim women in burkas to letterboxes, and now he may be on the brink of ordering everyone to wear facemasks in public.

To cap it all, he was elected on a Brexit promise to tighten our borders, just as farmers are forced to fly in Romanians to help pick fruit and veg crops to feed our lockdown nation.

At the thought of explaining the nation’s sorry predicament, Boris is probably working up enough sweat to see us through the next three seasons of ball polishing.

Still, with Boris, he’s better off polishing balls than talking it ...