Australia has been using Dukes ball since the 2016-17 season in Shield matches
From this summer’s Sheffield Shield, Cricket Australia has taken a decision not to use the Dukes ball and opt for using Kookaburra for four seasons. Cricket Australia has also given affirmation that for the whole 2020-21 first-class season, Kookaburra ball will be used.
Since 2016-17 seasons, Australia has been using continuously Dukes ball in Shield matches. Their main motto of using this ball is to prepare their players to face aggressive English conditions.
Peter Roach, Head of Cricket Operations of Cricket Australia said that the decision to prohibit the Dukes ball was the right decision. Roach said “Playing with Dukes ball in preliminary matches is a good exercise, especially in the lead up to overseas Ashes series. In these series, Duke Balls are used fantastically by the English players.”
He added, “over the past four seasons, we have been very much happy with the performance of the ball when applied in Australian conditions.”
“However, we do feel that turning back to one ball for 2020-21 seasons will offer the continuous assessment of our cricketers over a complete season that Cricket Australia and the states are seeking currently. The Kookaburra ball is utilized mostly for international cricket in Australia as well as a lot of areas in the world and we see actual advantages this season of using it.”
Roach said that the incompetence of spinners in first-class cricket is the main reason behind taking the decision of Cricket Australia not to use Dukes.
He said “We have seen that in the Sheffield Shield, the spinners have been playing less in this season, mostly in matches when the Dukes ball is utilized. We want spinners to bowl in first-class cricket and the batsman should be capable to face spin bowlers. This time we hope that the stick with one ball will provide positive benefits.”
However, the CA official didn’t rule out the probability of re-introduction it later. He said, “We see an accurate chance to reintroduce Dukes at some later stage in the future.”