Cricket ball

A cricket ball is a hard, solid ball used to play cricket. A cricket ball consists of cork covered by leather, and manufacture is heavily regulated by cricket law at first class level. The manipulation of a cricket ball, through employment of its various physical properties, is the staple component of bowling and dismissing batsmen – movement in the air, and off the ground, is influenced by the condition of the ball and the efforts of the bowler, while working on the cricket ball to obtain an optimum condition is a key role of the fielding side. The cricket ball is the principal manner through which the batsman scores runs, by manipulating the ball into a position where it would be safe to take a run, or by directing the ball through the boundary. In Test cricket and most domestic games that spread over a multitude of days, the cricket ball is traditionally coloured red. In many one day cricket matches, the ball is coloured white. Training balls of white, red and pink are also common, and windballs and tennis balls in a cricket motif can be used for training or unofficial cricket matches. During cricket matches, the quality of the ball changes to a point where it is no longer usable, and during this decline its properties alter and thus influence the match. Altering the state of the cricket ball outside the permitted manners designated in the rules of cricket is prohibited during a match, and 'ball tampering' has resulted in numerous controversies. Cricket balls, weighing between 155.9 and 163.0 grams, are known for their hardness and for the risk of injury involved when using them. The danger of cricket balls was a key motivator for the introduction of protective equipment. Injuries are often recorded in cricket matches due to the ball, and a small number of fatalities have been recorded or attributed to cricket balls. The nature of the cricket ball slightly varies with its manufacturer. The white Kookaburra balls are used in One Day Internationals and T20Is, while the red one is used in Tests in most nations apart from West Indies and England (Duke) and India (SG). A cricket ball is made from a core of cork, which is layered with tightly wound string, and covered by a leather case with a slightly raised sewn seam. In a top-quality ball suitable for the highest levels of competition, the covering is constructed of four pieces of leather shaped similar to the peel of a quartered orange, but one hemisphere is rotated by 90 degrees with respect to the other. The "equator" of the ball is stitched with string to form the ball's prominent seam, with a total of six rows of stitches. The remaining two joins between the leather pieces are stitched internally. Lower-quality balls with a 2-piece covering are also popular for practice and lower-level competition due to their lower purchase cost. For men's cricket, the ball must weigh between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces

(155.9 and 163.0 g) and measure between 8 13/16 and 9 in (224 and 229 mm) in circumference. Balls used in women's and youth matches are slightly smaller. Cricket balls are traditionally dyed red, and red balls are used in Test cricket and First-class cricket. White balls were introduced when one-day matches began being played at night under floodlights, as they are more visible at night. Professional one-day matches are now played with white balls, even when they are not played at night. Other colours have occasionally been experimented with, such as yellow and orange for improved night visibility, but the colouring process has so far rendered such balls unsuitable for professional play because they wear differently from standard balls. A pink ball was used for the first time in an international match in July 2009 when the England Woman's team defeated Australia at Wormsley. The white ball has been found to swing a lot more during the first half of the innings than the red ball and also deteriorates more quickly, although manufacturers claim that white and red balls are manufactured using the same methods and materials. Cricket balls are expensive. As of 2007, the ball used in first class cricket in England has a recommended retail price of 70 pounds sterling. In test match cricket this ball is used for a minimum of 80 overs (theoretically five hours and twenty minutes of play). In professional one day cricket, at least two new balls are used for each match. Amateur cricketers often have to use old balls, or cheap substitutes, in which case the changes in the condition of the ball may not be experienced in the same manner as that which occurs during an innings of professional cricket. The manufacturer of the cricket ball used in international matches can depend upon location. The white Kookaburra balls are used in one-day internationals & T20Is, while the red one is used in Tests in most nations apart from West Indies & England (Duke) and India (SG). All One Day International matches, regardless of location, are played with Kookaburra balls. From November 2, 2012 onwards, Pakistan adopted Kookaburra balls also for their First Class Cricket. Prior to that Grays had been supplying locally manufactured balls in the Patron's Trophy. An ongoing challenge associated with the white cricket balls used in One Day Internationals is that they become dirty fairly quickly, which makes it more difficult for batsmen to sight the ball later in the innings. Since October 2011, this has been managed by the use of two new white balls in each innings, with a different ball used from each bowling end; the same strategy was used in the 1992 and 1996 Cricket World Cups. Prior to this most recent change, one new ball was used from the start of the innings, then swapped in the 34th over with a "reconditioned ball", which was neither new nor too dirty to see