Why are different types of balls used in cricket?
We have witnessed the use of red balls since the Test format came into existence. For the 50-over format, a new type of white ball was introduced. With the ICC introducing Day/Night Tests, pink ball has been employed keeping the conditions in mind. Apart from the color, these balls also have different attributes. Let's know more about the different types of balls used.
History of the cricket ball
World's first leather ball was introduced in 1856. The core of the ball had a hard cork which made it heavy in nature. The oldest balls were manufactured by British Cricket Balls Limited and they were called Dukes.
White ball and its specifications
The white ball, used in ODIs and T20Is, behave differently than the red ones. They tend to carry more swing in the air and deteriorate quicker. Since the color of the ball fades away easily, the ICC introduced a rule to use two balls in an ODI. But this move has been criticized by players as bowlers are unable to extract reverse swing.
The three different kinds of red ball
The red ones, which are employed in Tests, are of three different varieties- Kookaburra, Dukes and SG balls. In India, SG balls are used for domestic and international matches. The likes of England, Ireland and West Indies use Dukes as other countries prefer Kookaburra. These different balls bear non-identical swing. For example, Dukes ball swing more than SG or Kookaburra.
What players are allowed to do with the ball?
In Test cricket, a new red ball or pink ball is employed at the start of every innings. The ball is used for a minimum of 80 overs after which the bowling side is free to opt for a new one. Notably, the fielding side is allowed to rub the ball on their trousers or even apply saliva to maintain the shine.