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Cricket Australia to stop using Dukes ball for first-class cricket from 2020-21 season

No more Dukes in Australia.
No more Dukes in Australia.
Modified 02 Jul 2020, 13:51 IST

Cricket Australia (CA) has forfeited its experiment of using the Dukes ball alongside the Kookaburra ball, deciding to use Kookaburra throughout the coming Sheffield Shield season as it seeks to help spinners develop.

Dukes has served its purpose

The Dukes were introduced in the Sheffield Shield in 2016-17 season and were used in the second half of each season thereafter to help prepare Australia's batsmen for the premium ball used on English pitches in the lead up to the 2019 Ashes.

This is considered as a masterstroke as it was one out of many pieces of a puzzle which helped Australia retain the Ashes, a feat that no Australian team had accomplished in England since 2001.

"The introduction of the Dukes ball has been a worthwhile exercise, particularly in the lead up to overseas Ashes series where the Dukes is used so well by our English opponents," Peter Roach, Cricket Australia's head of cricket operations, said. "We have been happy with how the ball has performed when used in Australian conditions over the past four seasons."

Roach also added that the use of the Kookaburra ball throughout the season will help them review each player consistently.

"We do, however, feel that reverting to one ball for 2020-21 will provide the consistent examination of our players over a full season that CA and the states are presently seeking. The Kookaburra is the ball used for international cricket in Australia and many parts of the world and we see benefits this season of maximising our use of it."

The Dukes ball is primarily known for its swing throughout the day. The spinners do not get the traditional help from a Dukes old ball the way they do from other balls and Roach believes that persisting with the Kookaburra ball will help the overall development of spinners.

"We have noted that spin bowlers in the Sheffield Shield have been playing less of a role in recent seasons, most notably in games when the Dukes ball is in use. We need spinners bowling in first-class cricket and we need our batters facing spin. We hope that the change to one ball with have a positive benefit here."

However, Roach feels that there is a chance for the reintroduction of the Dukes ball sometime in the future.

"We see a definite opportunity to reintroduce the Dukes ball at some stage in the future."
Published 02 Jul 2020, 13:51 IST
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