Why use a pink cricket ball? Apart from it looking different to a standard red ball what is the benefit and when could it be used?
A red cricket ball has long been used in traditional formats of the game. With International one day and shorter versions of the game, a ball needed to be developed for improved visibility to allow games to be played in the evening and in day/night games under floodlights. White and pink balls are the most common coloured balls used in non red ball games.
White cricket balls are now used in all professional one day matches but, they do not last as long as red balls and they swing a lot earlier in the innings. They also deteriorate quicker than red balls and become dirty looking as the white dye wears off. This means the ball becomes more difficult for fielders and batsmen to see in as little as 30 over’s. To combat this each innings now has 2 balls, one at each end, with the umpire taking care of the ball at the end of each over. So a 50 over game has 2 match balls being used for a maximum of 25 over’s.
Pink balls have been tried and developed as an alternative as it should last longer than the white ball and be more visible than the red one. These are still being tested and have been trialled in the 1st men’s day/night Test match in November 2015 when Australia played New Zealand with a pink kookaburra ball. Dukes and Kookaburra are at the forefront of this battle to produce a pink ball accepted around the world for top level cricket.
Club cricketers can also use coloured cricket balls and we stock one from Kookaburra, Readers and Dukes. All of these are suitable for evening games and allow clubs to continue to use their existing sight screens. Remember if a white ball is used the white sight screens will need covering with a black sheet, so batters can see the ball.
The International balls are priced in excess of £100 but the pink balls suitable for use in clubs range from £9.30 to £13.00. The Readers County Crown cricket ball is often used in matches of 20 overs and net sessions when practising in poor light. The Dukes Club Match cricket ball is slightly more expensive and is also suitable for games of 20 overs or more. The pink Kookaburra County Match cricket ball is our best selling full sized ball and is more than capable of lasting 40 overs. If you are playing a 50 over game use 2 balls and bowl one from each end. Dukes have the Cadet ball and Readers have the County Crown in pink in youth size.
The ball will not retain the colour as well as the red ball, as the balls are painted and lacquered rather than having the leather dipped in dye as with red balls.