Kookaburra balls to be used exclusively in 2020-21 Marsh Sheffield Shield in Australia
Cricket Australia has today announced that Kookaburra balls will be used exclusively for Marsh Sheffield Shield matches in the 2020-21 season.
CA has used both Kookaburra and Dukes balls in the Shield competition since the 2016-17 season.
Peter Roach, Cricket Australia’s Head of Cricket Operations, said reverting to the traditional Kookaburra ball was the right move for Australian cricket at this time.
“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,” Roach said. “We have been happy with how the ball has performed when used in Australian conditions over the past four seasons.
“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.
“We have noted that spin bowlers in the Marsh 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.
“We see a definite opportunity to reintroduce the Dukes ball at some stage in the future.”
Brett Elliott, Group Managing Director at Kookaburra Sport, said his company was delighted to continue their association with the Marsh Sheffield Shield.
“We have worked very hard over many years in conjunction with boards around the world to develop a cricket ball that brings out all the skills of players,” Elliott said. “We will continue to work with the sport to finetune our processes to produce the best possible cricket ball for the different formats.”
Dilip Jajodia, the owner of Dukes ball manufacturer British Cricket Balls, thanked Cricket Australia for its partnership over the past four seasons.
“Having the opportunity to show the quality of our ball in Australia’s premier domestic cricket competition has been a privilege,” Jajodia said. “We understand CA’s decision and are buoyed by the potential for the Dukes to return in future seasons.”
©Cricket World 2020