It’s a sport unlike any other, and cricket uses a ball that is equally as unique. Comprised of cork, string and leather, cricket balls are surprisingly hard and solid. We look at the average cricket ball weight, and understand everything there is to know about this central component of the modern game.
- 1 How much does a cricket ball weigh?
- 2 Key specifications for cricket ball weight
- 3 Different formats and the types of cricket balls used
How much does a cricket ball weigh?
The average cricket ball weight varies between 155.9 grams (5.5 ounces) to 163 grams (5.75 ounces) for men’s cricket.
With a cork core wound in string, the standard cricket ball has a leather cover stitched on top. This covering is constructed with four pieces of leather shaped similar to the peel of a quartered orange, but one hemisphere is rotated by 90 degrees with respect to the other. The equator of the ball is then stitched with string to form the ball's prominent seam, with six rows of stitches.
Cricket balls are traditionally a lot harder and heavier than baseballs, and are available in three colors – red, white, and pink. The red ball was first used several centuries ago while the pink ball was only introduced recently for day/night test matches.
Furthermore, there are three main manufacturers of cricket balls used in international matches – Kookaburra, Dukes, and SG. India uses SG balls, England, Ireland, and the West Indies use Dukes, while all other countries use Kookaburra.
Key specifications for cricket ball weight
Cricket ball weight varies based on the gender and age-level that a ball is being used at. Here’s a run down of the specifications for each:
Men’s cricket ball weight
Women’s cricket ball weight
Junior cricket ball weight
Different formats and the types of cricket balls used
While the cricket ball weight does not vary between formats, the type of ball does. Here’s a look at the different types of cricket balls used across the various formats of cricket:
Red ball – Test cricket
The red ball was the first type of ball ever to be introduced in international cricket. Red balls are traditionally used in Test cricket and in some first-class one-day matches.
These balls were previously used in one-day cricket as well but by the end of the 20th century, ICC legitimized the use of white balls for all the one-day international matches.
White ball – ODIs and T20
White balls were introduced when one-day matches began being played at night under floodlights as they are more visible at night. All professional one-day matches are now played with white balls, even when they are not played at night.
These white balls have been found to behave differently from the red balls. Most notably, they swing a lot more during the first half of an innings than the red balls, and they deteriorate more quickly. Manufacturers claim that white and red balls are manufactured using the same methods and materials other than the dyeing of the leather, making the cricket ball weight exactly the same.
A major problem associated with white cricket balls used in One Day Internationals is that they quickly become dirty or dull in color, which makes it more difficult for batsmen to sight the ball after 30–40 overs of use.
Since October 2012, this has been managed by the use of two new white balls in each innings. Between October 2007 and October 2012, the issue had been managed using one new ball from the start of the innings, then swapping it at the end of the 34th over with a “reconditioned ball”, which was neither new nor too dirty to see. Before October 2007, except during the 1992 and 1996 World Cups, only one ball was used during an innings of an ODI and it was at the umpires' discretion to change the ball if it was difficult to see.
Pink ball – night time Test matches
Pink balls were developed in the 2000s to enable Tests and first-class matches played at night. The red ball is least visible at night due to poor visibility, and the white ball deteriorates rapidly and cannot be used for eighty overs as specified in the rules. Also, the white ball color would get lost in the traditional white clothes worn.
Hence, the decision was taken to introduce a pink ball that was designed to provide a satisfactory compromise on these issues. It is still considered more difficult to see than a white ball and the leather is more heavily dyed than a red ball, which better preserves its color and visibility as it wears but also gives it slightly different wear characteristics.
A pink ball was used for the first time in an international match in July 2009 when the England Women's team defeated Australia in a one-day match at Wormsley. However, its first major use came in a day/night test match in November 2015 between South Africa and Australia.