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The Importance of the Cricket Ball

Date Added: March 03, 2009 02:37:33 PM
Author: Sunil Jajodia
Category: Blogs: Sports
Many people from all over the world turn out to watch cricket each year, or choose to watch matches from the comfort of their living rooms.  However, other than players, experts and association members, not many know in depth about a vital piece of cricket equipment – the ball. A cricket ball is designed to be solid, long lasting and hard.  They are generally made form a cork core, which is tightly bound in layers of string and then covered with leather.  The leather pieces each cover around a quarter of the ball and are sewn together, the seams are always slightly raised.  Cricket equipment varies between different kinds of game and between players of different ages and/or genders.  Men’s cricket balls weigh from 155.9 grams to 163 grams (5.5 ounces to 5.75 ounces), and are between 224 mm and 229 mm in diameter.  Balls for women and younger people tend to be slightly smaller and lighter.  Due to the speed the ball travels and how hard it is, it necessitates nearby players to wear additional protective clothing, for example, helmets.  Some schools and casual players use alternatives to the traditional or even tennis balls covered with heavy duty tape for playing cricket. The colour of the ball also varies occasionally – traditionally they are red, and this colour is used in First Class and Test Cricket.  At night white is sometimes preferred due to increased visibility. The Laws of Cricket govern how cricket equipment is used throughout the game, and the ball is no exception.  The way it is treated by players is monitored, and the balls condition is checked regularly throughout the game by the umpire.  Bowlers often polish the ball, or at least one half of the ball, on their trousers – leaving the famous red marks. Some cricket trousers even come with pads to make this process easier.  Bowlers must not, however, rub the ball on the ground or use and substance other than sweat or saliva to aid the polishing process.  A player must also scuff the balls or pick at seam or leather through the course of the game.  Rules relating to the replacement of balls are also strictly governed.  A new ball is only provided when after a certain number of overs have been bowled using the old one.  In Test Cricket this occurs when more than 80 overs have passed for the bowling side. In One Day Internationals there is a mandatory change of ball at the start of the 35th over of each innings; however the replacement, as in many cases, is a clean used ball rather than a new one.  If a ball has been lost, damaged or illegally tampered with by a player, it is also always replaced with a clean used ball. All cricket equipment is of great importance to the game.  The correct equipment allows players to perform at their best, whether they are professionals or a small team using their local green for a casual game one summer afternoon.  Understanding cricket equipment is one way to enhance your understanding of cricket as a whole, and in turn, enjoy it all the more.        For further information, please visit http://www.morrant.com
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