As in many games, the cricket ball plays a big part in the game. If you didn’t have a cricket ball you would not be able to play; you’d all be standing around staring blankly at each other in front of the wickets with an unused bat in your hand. But cricket balls are extraordinary, they cannot just be replaced with any ball, (although tennis balls are often used in training or fun games). The cricket ball has been designed specifically for the sport of cricket, with critical factors taken into account.
The cricket ball is made of leather. It used to be hand stitched, but these days machines do most of the hard work (most of the time). Right at the centre of the ball is the inner core comprised of cork, this aids in the longevity of the ball and its bounce. There are two basic designs of the cricket ball according to how it is sewn together. There are those sewn in a two-piece pattern and those sewn in a four-piece pattern. The two-piece patterned balls are completed by stitching two half spheres together and are generally used by entry-level players. In the case of the four-piece patterned balls, the area is made up of 4 quarters, which are then sewn together. These are high-performance balls and are the chosen balls for international matches.
You may have noticed three different ball colours, but what do they mean, or rather, when are they used? The red balls utilized in international test matches, as they offer high visibility and are considered the best. The white cricket balls are chosen for one-day international events, day or night. This colour is more visible at night and is used for shorter matches as the ball gets dirty quickly. They are also believed to be on par with the performance of the red ball wise. The third and final colour is the slightly soft pink ball, used in test matches, day and night because of the contrast against the player’s shirts.
Cricket Ball Brands
There are many cricket ball brands. At the top of the charts are Kookaburra, SG, Thrax and Duke with Kookaburra being the ICC approved brand. Kookaburra was first established in 1890; they have been producing cricket balls for almost three decades. The factory is located in Melbourne, Australia, where the shots are mostly machine made. Fans teams of this brand include; Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Duke is a ball brand favoured by England and the West Indies. They are manufactured in the United Kingdom in Tonbridge, Kent, where production started in 1760. SG, or Sanspareils Greenlands, is a brand of balls by a company founded in Pakistan, then known as Sialkot, back in 1931. Still today, the balls are handmade and hold their shape after playing cricket for a full day.