Kookaburra blind-test Turf20 for T20 cricket
A fourth ball might yet be introduced in cricket to go along with the traditional red ball, the white ball for one-dayers and the fairly new pink ball for day-night tests. Australian manufacturer Kookaburra has made a new variant of the white ball, to be used exclusively in Twenty20 cricket. It is hoped that the ball might come into mainstream use around the world in international and league cricket before the ICC World T20 is staged in Australia in the year 2020.
Named 'Turf20', the manufacturers say that the ball has been specially designed to withstand the frequent forceful striking involved in the format throughout the innings and with the game moving at a pace more rapid than ever, it is only meet that there is a ball entirely dedicated to the specific demands of the style of play. It was recently blind-tested in a Northern Territory Strike competition last weekend.
"As Twenty20 cricket evolved, Kookaburra thought there should be a way to create a ball specific to its needs rather than follow the traditional method of ball-making that is used in Test cricket," Kookaburra spokesman Shannon Gill said.
"A Test ball is designed to gradually deteriorate over 80 overs, this is an integral element to Test cricket. Twenty20 cricket has evolved quite differently; the ball is only needed for 20 overs and the action is more intense and explosive than Test cricket."
The feedback for the new product was quite positive, as it turned out. South Australia and Brisbane Heat batsman Alex Ross, who is playing for Desert Storm alongside Cameron Bancroft, was a part of the match in which the trial was staged gave a glowing review to the concept.
"As long as it doesn't bounce differently or change the nature of the game, that way it can only be a positive," Ross said.
"I noticed later in my innings last week the ball was definitely harder and carried further – which is what you want in T20 cricket."