Australia may dump iconic kookaburra balls after 120 years
London: Cricket Australia (CA) is set to test the performance of the English-made Dukes ball for the double Ashes series this year in some under age and second XI domestic games in Australia, after 120 years of playing with the iconic Kookaburra ball.
The Dukes ball was a major factor that helped the English team led by Andrew Flintoff in winning the Ashes in 2009 because of its propensity to swing for longer than other balls, Sky News reports.
The report further stated that CA wants to see how the ball, which is considerable cheaper than the Kookaburra ball because some of the manufacturing work is carried out in Pakistan, performs in Australia`s harsher conditions, hoping for the English luck of 2009 to rub off on their cricketers.
Senior cricket operations manager with CA, Sean Cary said that although the board is proud of the Australian-made Kookaburra ball, they ultimately want cricketers to play cricket, adding that if cost is a barrier then CA needs to make sure that they can reduce those costs.
According to Victoria bowler Louis Cameron, the Dukes ball swings conventionally longer than the Kookaburra ball probably because the coat of lacquer on the Dukes ball lasts longer, adding that it will be an advantage for any player picked for a future Ashes series to get used to the English-made ball.
However, managing director of Kookaburra Rob Elliott expressed his worries over the fact that if the Dukes ball makes inroads into the Australian game, a century old tradition will be eroded and jobs at the factory could be lost.
The Kookaburra factory rolls out half a million balls a year, with the top quality balls selling for around 65 pounds each.
The balls are made with hides from Australian cattle, and the balls for test cricket are hand stitched, the report added.