Cricket Australia returns to Kookaburra ball: CA has decided to return to basics with an eye on development of spinners in the nation.
Cricket Australia will return to conducting a full season of the prestigious Sheffield Shield with the Kookaburra ball later this year. The move has primarily been made to aid spinners whose bowling average had dipped since the introduction of the Dukes ball in 2016-17.
It is worth mentioning that CA had made it a point to play the second half of the Sheffield Shield with the Dukes ball to prepare the Australian batsmen especially for an overseas Ashes tour.
With Australia managing to retain the Ashes in England last year, the ploy appears to have worked for them. With the next overseas Ashes tour three years away, players will play with the Kookaburra ball throughout the upcoming season.
“The introduction of the Dukes ball has been a worthwhile exercise … 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 [in eight Test playing nations] of the world,” CA’s head of cricket operations Peter Roach said in a statement.
Cricket Australia returns to Kookaburra ball
Addressing the concern regarding spinners bowling with the Dukes ball, Roach acknowledged spinners’ diminishing role with the Dukes ball. Roach also didn’t rule down the possibility of reintroducing the Dukes ball in the Sheffield Shield.
“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. We see a definite opportunity to reintroduce the Dukes ball at some stage in the future,” Roach said.