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In all game sports where the ball is used, the team scores points when the ball hits a certain zone. In cricket, the ball originally belongs to the attacking team. In this discipline, a fairly heavy and powerful projectile is used, so players often get injured.

Ball: two meanings

In cricket, the word ball has two meanings. This is the ball that is used in the game. The bowler guides it, and the batsman tries to hit it. The round-shaped ball is covered with leather and has several seams, thanks to which it can take unpredictable movements.

The second meaning of the ball is a one-time delivery. Six balls are allowed in each over.

Ball: what is it made of?

For the ball to be used in official cricket matches, it must be certified according to British Standard BS 5993. The classification specifies the requirements for the size, quality and other characteristics of the ball. A cricket ball is made of cork. The second layer is a tightly wound thread, and then everything is “packed” in a leather case. It is also important to note that there must be a seam when making the ball. To understand how the leather covers the ball, experts suggest imagining an orange, the coating of which is divided into four parts. At the same time, one hemisphere is rotated by 90 degrees with respect to the other. In the middle, the cricket ball is sewn with a string with six stitches. Two more seams pass from inside the ball, and this allows you to form a quarter seam.

The process of making training balls is simpler. Also, for the sake of safety, children who are starting to be engaged in cricket, at first, do not use the standard ball for this sport at all. They like to play with tennis balls. To make them look like cricket balls, half of the ball is wrapped with tape.

Ball: how are they used in the game?

The player must have a certain skill and know how the ball behaves in flight to show good results. This is influenced by both the movement of the hands during the swing and the accentuated work in the final part of the throw. It is important to note that cricket balls are heavier than baseball balls. There are three types of the ball in cricket:

  • Red ball.This is a classic of cricket. It is used in the Test format, in which team meetings can take place over several days.
  • White ball.It is used in games with a limited number of overs. This type of ball is liked by cricketers who often perform at night. Due to its color, such a ball is clearly visible in the reflections of the light masts.
  • Pink ball.It appeared only in 2010. It contrasts well with the white clothes of cricketers and is used mainly in test matches that last for several days.

In football, several balls of the same type are used during the game. Usually, they very rarely fail. In tennis, athletes play only the first seven games with one set of balls, and then, with a sequence of every nine games, they are replaced. In cricket, the replacement of balls occurs only in the allotted time. It depends on the state of the ball and the format of the match:

  • In the Test format, new balls are used in each inning.
  • In other formats, two balls are used, one from each end start of each inning.

Players have several reasons to contact the umpires and ask for a replacement for the ball. First of all, we are talking about damage and loss of the ball. The umpire can also appoint a replacement of the ball if the player damages it. In test matches, the captain of the team that is going to attack after 80 overs also has the opportunity to request a change of balls. If the ball accidentally hits the stands, the spectators must return it. Thus, the game will continue with the same ball. If the audience steals the ball suddenly, the umpire must provide the players with a ball of exactly the same type.

Given the fact that in cricket, one ball is used for a long time, its surface wears out and becomes rough. To correct the situation, bowlers resort to various tricks. For example, they wipe the ball on their clothes. Sometimes you can notice that noticeable stains remain on the trousers of cricketers. At the same time, the cricket ball is only half amenable to a kind of polishing. In this way, bowlers are trying to create a “swing” as it travels through the air. Players can also use the state of the ball to create a reverse rotation. Due to its configuration, a cricket ball can noticeably change its trajectory after bouncing.

To avoid constant manipulation from cricketers, special bans were created for certain actions:

  • Players are not allowed to rub the ball on the ground.
  • Cricketers cannot rub any liquids into it, except sweat.
  • It is forbidden to lift the ball’s seam in any way and deliberately cling to it with nails or sharp objects.
  • With the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, players were forbidden to smear the ball with saliva. In case of violation of this paragraph of the International Cricket Council rule, a team may be issued up to two warnings during an innings to start. In the case of the third attempt of manipulation, a 5-run penalty to the batting side is imposed.

If the ball is out of play for some reason, then fast bowlers like to play the new ball. They take advantage of the greater unpredictability of the rebound from the field. At the same time, old balls are more suitable for spin bowlers.

Ball: dimensions

Cricket balls vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. The main manufacturer is considered to be Kookaburra, the main office of the company is located in Melbourne (Australia). Kookaburra white balls are used for Twenty20 format matches. The red balls of this company are used in meetings of the Test format. They are preferred by all the leading countries in the world in cricket, with the exception of three:

  • India plays with the balls of the company from India Sanspareils Greenlands.
  • The West Indies and England cooperate with the British manufacturer Dukes.

The following characteristics must be observed by the organizers of the competition when providing balls, depending on the age of the participants:

Cricket ball specifications Weight Circumference
Men, and boys 13 and over 5,5 to 5,75 oz (156 to 163 g) 8,81 to 9 in (224 to 229 mm)
Women, and girls 13 and over 4,94 to 5,31 oz (140 to 151 g) 8,25 to 8,88 in (210 to 226 mm)
Children under 13 4,69 to 5.06 oz (133 to 143 g) 8,06 to 8,69 in (205 to 221 mm)
Younger children A plastic ball such as a «Kwik cricket ball» is often used

Ball: danger

A cricket ball can reach a speed of 160 km / h during flight. Given the size of the projectile, players always need to be alert and act as safely as possible for themselves. It is not surprising that recently batsmen are trying to wear helmets, including Australians who have a national cult of the famous baggy green.

The first information about the victims of the cricket ball appeared in the 18th century. According to unofficial information, in 1751, Prince of Wales Frederick was injured shortly before his death just in a cricket match. Unfortunately, later there were several more unpleasant cases, a large number of which belong to the 21st century:

  • Roger Davis from the West Indies national team in 1971 received a severe concussion. Fortunately, he was able to continue active performances.
  • Raman Lamba from India was less lucky. In the 1998 season, during one of the club matches after a blow to the head, Lamba performed as a batsman without a protective helmet.
  • In 2009, the ball hit the head of the umpire Alcwyn Jenkins. He could not be saved.
  • In 2013, South Africa lost its player Phillip Hughes. He died in hospital after being hit during one of the matches of the national team.
  • The black period for cricket is November 2015, when two representatives of cricket who suffered from a ball hit in the head passed away at once: Australian player Phillip Hughes and Hillel Oscar, who was an umpire at that time and was previously the captain of the Israeli national cricket team.
  • The last known fatal case was recorded in 2017 when Zubair Ahmed from Pakistan died.

Experts draw attention to the fact that coaches working with children need to constantly remind their wards about the danger of a cricket ball.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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