The updated version of Kookaburra’s refined red turf ball will be introduced by Cricket Australia in five and six rounds of the 2019-20 Sheffield Shield tournament. The Dukes ball will be introduced after the Big Bash break.
According to the feedback of coaches, players and officials, the updated turf ball does not look and feel any different from existing turf balls. The weight and shape of the updated ball are the same as the current ball. But the only difference between the existing ball and updated ball lies in the lining of the leather. The new design helps to increase the resilience of the seam which makes a ball and the seam stay harder for longer.
The seam on the present ball doesn’t last long, despite making it harder for the seamers and spinners alike to pick up wickets. A more durable seam is what this updated turf ball seeks to bring into the game.
Peter Roach, CA Head of Cricket Operations said, “After an extensive process of testing in the laboratory, training and match conditions, we are confident that given good pitch and weather conditions the refined Turf ball will stay harder for longer, and produce more swing for longer periods. In time, we would like to see this ball being considered for future First-Class cricket in Australia,”
Both CA and Kookaburra will seek feedback on the new Turf ball after the end of rounds six and seven after which they will work towards introducing it at the Test level. Officials of CA said they are not going to use updated Kookaburra ball in Test cricket this summer. At present, changing a regular ball at the Test level will require involvement from other cricket boards too.
Peter Roach added, “The timeline (for its use in Tests) is unknown – we’ll get through the next two games, and we’ll reassess again, We’ll work with Kookaburra to see if this is what we want to continue with for our first-class ball. We want to see the balance between bat and ball, and we hope this change further assists this.”