The cricket ball is a very integral part of the game. It is used to hit the wicket, score runs during an innings, and defend it from the opposing team.
A cricket match starts with a coin toss, where each team gets one chance to either bat or bowl first.
The Red Cricket Ball
The Red cricket balls are the original cricket balls that have been in use for over years of the game. These cricket balls are made from cork and leather, wound around with string, and stitched together to make a spherical shape. They have a seam that runs all around the circumference of the ball, giving it the ability to bounce.
The red cricket balls are used primarily on daytime matches as they show up well under floodlights which is why most first-class and international cricket tournaments are usually played.
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The White Cricket Ball
The white cricket balls were introduced in the 1970s and were approved by the MCC (Melbourne Cricket Club) during daytime matches. The white cricket balls are made from a solid core of cork, covered with a standard white leather cover. Many international players went on record stating that they preferred playing with these white-ball cricket matches over the red ball cricket matches. The white balls are also approved to be used in all other forms of test cricket, one-day internationals, and 20-20 cricket matches.
The main issue with these balls was that they became dirty during play very quickly due to the white color absorbing light incredibly well, making it difficult for the umpires to see if the ball was in a dangerous condition and needed to be changed. This led to some players complaining that these balls would get softer while others thought it got harder, with no natural way of knowing during the match itself.
The Pink Cricket Ball
The pink cricket ball feed machine was introduced as an alternative to reduce the disadvantages of playing cricket with a white cricket ball during the daytime. The pink cricket balls are made from a core of cork covered with red leather, just like the white cricket balls. However, to solve the visibility problem, the manufacturers decided to split the difference and dye part of this pink cricket ball white instead.
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The result is a pink cricket ball with a white section to bounce off the green grass and reflect light quickly. The pink cricket balls are approved for use in all forms of test matches, one-day internationals, and 20-20 internationals.
The players have stated that the pink cricket balls seem to swing more than either red or white.
So the next time you are watching a cricket match, pay attention to the ball's color. It might be white, red or pink! The only difference is due to their core materials and the dye used on them.