Amazing Facts About The Cricket Ball – Undoubtedly the one cricket equipment to have undergone the most changes ever since it foray into the cricketing world, the cricket ball today finds itself crafted in different colors, material and stitching. Originally finding their origination in Kent, England where people with an exquisite skill set for stitching together a ball were employed by companies. In a massive shift, today Jalandhar in Punjab has become a colossal and one of the most preferred destination on the international stage for the manufacturing of the white and red variety.
With precise modulations in place, a cricket ball is crafted keeping two things in mind- the duration of the match and the circumstances under which it is to be used. Segmented under two broad categories, white and red, recent developments in the game have subsequently lead to the emergence of a third category as well.
The pink ball made solely for day-night test matches became the latest addition to venture into the fraternity, one that intertwined both the aspects of pace, swing and bounce along with the requisite color to allow for widespread visibility in waning light. It’s been a fascinating journey for the cricket ball, one that’s traversed through many years to take the identity to holds today to seamlessly blend both purchase in it for the pacers and spinners.
Evolution Of A Cricket Ball
Red balls became the traditional hard, round shaped balls to be used for playing cricket, one that saw no changes occur in them till 1977 when they were used to indulge in both the test format and ODI matches. Made from hand, these balls were renowned for their ability to hold their shape and stitching for a larger amount of time, allowing the ball to deviate massively in the air before swinging in and away from the batsmen upon pitching.
The shape of the bat was changed from curved to a straight one due to the rousing ability of the ball to shape into the batsmen, taking a line and length across them as it pitched in the air, something considered natural in 1760s.
As time passed and the laws of cricket changed, inclining more in favour of the batsmen, there arose a requisite need to introduce a ball that was easier to hit around the ground, giving birth to the white ball. Machine made, the whiter counterpart allowed for ominous deliveries, some real rippers in its initial 20 overs before eventually going soft, allowing the batsmen to open their arms and amass a bagful of runs.
White balls were first introduced in the World Series Cricket in 1977 in Australia a tournament that saw the ball being successfully tried out after which it became a regular feature in the game. Today, white balls are the go to ones in ODI and T20 matches, with one ball change being allowed in the ODI format per innings.
As the International Cricket Council over the years brought in new guidelines and tried to bring in more viewership globally to the game, pink balls were developed in 2009, ones the England Cricket Board and Cricket Australia became the first to experiment with. They’ve over a time become a mainstay of the day-night matches, taking centrestage as the game looks to widen its reach with the newest aspect in the longest format of the game.
Structure Of A Cricket Ball
Specified by British Standard BS 5993, the construction details, dimension, quality and performance of a cricket ball must be strictly adhered to, to ensure that the standard of cricket is always kept at its pinnacle. Weighing in at 155-163 grams, the cork is imbedded to make the foundation of the ball, one that provides the much needed weight and bounce to it.
It is subsequently wound up by a string, one that is followed up by six rows of stitching that cause air turbulence which allow for the ball to frisk about on the pitch and misbehave around.
Balls Used By Countries
Today with 98% of the balls being used at the club level in India coming from Jalandhar, the country partakes in using one the major three manufacturers of the ball in the world. India uses SG, England and West Windies use Dukes, while the remaining countries use Kookaburra, one that is used for all ODI matches across the world.
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The world’s most expensive cricket ball was made way back in 2004, a diamond cricket ball was in Sri Lanka that weighs 53.83 carats and has a pure gold lining of 125 grams stitched into it.