Kookaburra unveils exclusive balls for T20
Kookaburra has developed and unveiled a special ball designed exclusively to play the shortest format cricket; the manufacturer are having an aim to introduce it across T20 leagues and international cricket within two years’ time.
The ball termed ‘Turf20’ was conducted a ‘blind test’ in the in the Northern Territory Strike competition where Cameron Bancroft is making his comeback to competitive cricket after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
The trial is the part of developing the process of the new ball and it will be continued for next eighteen months. The manufacturer will also make offers to other cricket boards for trial.
Kookaburra spokesman Shannon Gill said, “As Twenty20 cricket evolved, Kookaburra thought there should be a way to create a ball specific to its needs rather than follow the traditional method of ball-making that is used in Test cricket.”
“A Test ball is designed to gradually deteriorate over 80 overs, this is an integral element to Test cricket. Twenty20 cricket has evolved quite differently; the ball is only needed for 20 overs and the action is more intense and explosive than Test cricket. This means gradual deterioration is not as big a factor, instead a ball that meets the demands of the power hitting game has been created,” he added.
“In follow-up feedback, the players responded they did not notice any difference to the way the ball played as far as bounce and speed, but there were comments on the improved hardness of the ball through the 20 overs,” Gill also said.
Manufacturers would be happy to know some prompt, positive response from cricketers playing around the newly designed ball.
South Australia and Brisbane Heat batsman Alex Ross, who is playing for Desert Storm alongside Cameron Bancroft, said it made sense to consider a different ball for the shorter game.
“As long as it doesn’t bounce differently or change the nature of the game, that way it can only be a positive,” Ross said.
“I noticed later in my innings last week the ball was definitely harder and carried further – which is what you want in T20 cricket,” he said.
The company also reveals the cost effectiveness of ‘Turf20’ saying the new ball can be produced at a lower cost than the current version, which makes it more appealing for boards and grassroots competitions.
Kookaburra, the official producer of red ball for Tests, has recently been, come under scrutiny after probable declination of it’s’ quality over the years.
While it is still used for internationals played in Australia, Cricket Australia introduced the English Dukes balls for use in the second half of the Sheffield Shield season in 2016/17. The move was made to better prepare Australia for Ashes series in England, where they have not won since 2001.
Kookaburra has, however, continued to refine the pink ball used in day/night Tests, with improvements made in its durability and visibility.