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Evolution of the cricket ball

We’ve played cricket growing up and we have been watching the game since childhood. It’s a game that is embedded in our systems since forever. Another thing we relate to cricket is the idea of playing with a red ball or seeing professional matches played with one. 

Just to give you a quick idea of the evolution of the cricket ball, here’s a little information on each type of ball that professional cricket has witnessed since its inception.

Red balls – These are the first type of cricket balls. They were used to play Test matches and any form of competitive cricket right from the beginning. They remained as the only type of balls used until about 1977. Red balls are robust and offer great performance early on in their life, but as they get old, they offer a late reverse swing.

White balls– These were first introduced in the World Series Cricket back in 1977, which was introduced in Australia by Kerry Packer. After the World Series ended, white balls and colored clothing became constants of One Day International matches. This led to the popularity of limited-over matches ever since white balls started getting used for the format. 

Pink balls– Day-night test matches have very recently come to the forefront and the whole idea of using a pink ball was born. This was important since red balls have low visibility during night and could not be used in day-night matches. A pink ball was used for the first time in November 2015, between Australia and New Zealand. 

The first time India played with a pink ball was the historic Test match between India and Bangladesh at Kolkata in the 2019 series. 

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