Miffed with the recent ball-tampering scandal that shocked the cricketing world, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to imposed blanket ban on using of leather balls in cricket from April 6, a day ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League season 11.
‘From April 6, leather balls will not be used in the game of cricket,’ reads a notice placed outside ICC’s headquarters in Dubai, UAE.
Cricketers have been using leather balls since the first inter-state game of cricket was played in 1856.
ICC’s decision did not go down well with some of the cricketers as they termed it as “Tughlaki Farmaan.”
“ICC’s decision of banning leather balls is a rude shock for the cricket lovers across the globe,” said a cricketer with 12 million followers on Twitter on the condition of anonymity.
A Brief History
In its most common form, a cricket ball is made from layers of tightly wound string around a cork core and covered by a leather case. A raised seam of six rows of stitching gives the ball a number of unique aerodynamic qualities and helps determine its swing, cut and spin.
The final touch lay in dying the leather and stamping the maker’s name on it before enveloping it in multiple coats of polish.
There are three main manufacturers of cricket balls used in international matches: Kookaburra, Dukes and SG. The oldest manufacturer of Cricket Ball is British Cricket Balls Ltd.
There are 3 different types of Cricket Balls that are being used in currently in the International Format:
- Red Ball for Test
- White Ball for ODI & T-20
- Pink Ball for Test Matches (Day & Night)
As far as the weight and dimensions of a cricket ball are concerned, the regulations are different for men’s cricket and women’s cricket. For men’s cricket, a cricket ball must weigh between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces and measure between 8 13/16 and 9 inches in circumference. With regard to women’s cricket, it must weigh between 4 15/16 and 5 1/16 ounces and measure between 8.3 and 8.9 inches in circumference.
ICC officials say that the decision of imposing a ban on the leather balls would definitely curb the ball tampering related issues in the gentleman’s game.
Asked about the alternative, ICC officials say that the management is planning to introduce ‘hockey balls’ in cricket.
According to a security guard stationed at ICC’s headquarters, “the top bosses are planning to replace leather ball with hockey ball in the IPL 11 season to test its performance.”
Hockey balls are made of hard plastic and a bit of cores of cork, which allow the ball to bounce and travel at high-speed.
It is highly impossible to tamper the ball during the game.
Meanwhile, Board of Control for Cricket India have ordered 500 boxes of hockey balls on urgent basis as the IPL season 11 is starting from April 7.
The first match would be played between defending champions Mumbai Indians and two-time champions Chennai Super Kings.
CSK is making a comeback after facing a ban of two years following spot-fixing scandal that rocked the world. Former Indian captain MS Dhoni will be leading the side.