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“Australian bowler James Pattinson fields a Kookaburra ball during a Test against New Zealand in January this year. ©AFP” />
Sydney (AFP) – Australia on Thursday announced plans to ditch the English Dukes ball in domestic cricket and revert to using only the traditional Kookaburra for the next Sheffield Shield season.
Cricket Australia introduced the Dukes ball in 2016 and they were used in the second half of each Shield season to try to accustom players to conditions in England, where Australian batsmen had often struggled.
Dukes balls tend to have a more pronounced seam, enabling them swing further and for longer when new than the Australian-made Kookaburras.
Cricket Australia’s head of operations Peter Roach said reverting to the Kookaburra was the right move 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,” he 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 (Cricket Australia) and the states are presently seeking,” he added.
While England continue to use Dukes, the Kookaburra is used for Tests in many other parts of the world and widely in limited-overs cricket.
Roach said Cricket Australia could consider reintroducing Dukes balls closer to the next Ashes series in England, which is due to take place in 2023.