The Kookaburra Turf Pink Ball was first developed in 2006 for a cancer charity event.
In 2007 the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) commenced an initiative to explore the possibilities of a Day/Night Test match. The concept was based on the objective to gain a wider audience for Test cricket in both the venues, and on television.
At the very heart of this initiative was the need to preserve the tradition of test cricket being played in Whites/Creams and maintaining the balance between bat and ball.
HOW DID KOOKABURRA TEST THE PINK BALL? FOR HOW LONG? WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?
Pink was selected as the preferred colour, after an array of colours were trialled both domestically and internationally.
In Australia the balls have been trialled in a day night format at all major grounds in Sheffield Shield cricket.
Several years of ongoing trials across the world took place. The ball has now been tested extensively for 5 years to establish the exact shade of pink.
The ball has been trialled with both green and white stitching. In the end players' preference was for green stitching as they found the white stitching became harder to see once it started to discolour.
Before any Kookaburra ball is deemed Test Match fit, a series of tests are carried out to determine the leather’s strength tensile and consistency. In addition the cricket ball threads are tested for their strength, durability and wear. Tests on the core of the ball are also performed to ensure consistent bounce and hardness. The ball itself is measured and weighed to guarantee it falls within The Laws.
WHY ARE THE KOOKABURRA TURF BALLS RED, WHITE AND PINK? WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEM? HOW ARE THEY SIMILAR?
Various colour balls and shades have been used in the history of cricket.
Nobody knows why red was chosen for cricket balls centuries ago. The original cricket ball makers were farmers in Kent. They lived a modest life, making cricket balls with natural materials, and perhaps a simple red dye was available that was the brightest and most practical to use.
The most radical and permanent change came with the World Series Cricket when 50 over cricket was played with a white ball and coloured clothing.
There has always been a refined difference in the finish of the Turf red ball to that of the Turf white ball, and the same applies to the Pink ball. The Pink ball sits between the Red ball and the White ball.
They all have identical centres, those being the proven Kookaburra five layered centre that ensures identical characteristics in terms of hardness and bounce. They all use the very best Australian hide which is alum tanned.
The Pink Kookaburra Turf ball is made in the same method as the red ball. The red and the pink leather balls are dyed, whereas the white Turf ball is not.
To ensure the best visibility, whilst preserving the natural wear characteristics of the ball throughout the match, Kookaburra add a very fine additional film of colour to the surface of the pink ball, and also the white ball, prior to the standard clear lacquer finish being applied as it is to all cricket balls.
This enhances the brightness of the ball. Some suggest it also encourages early swing.
Players regularly adapt to different pitches, climates and ball brands worldwide. The differences in the pink ball in the scheme of change are subtle in comparison.
WHY IS PINK THE BEST COLOUR FOR DAY/NIGHT TESTS?
Consensus is that the longer form of the game – the traditional four-day and five-day matches – should be played in white or cream clothing. It is essential therefore that the colour of the ball does not clash with the colour of the players’ clothing.
To date pink has proven to be the best colour used to contrast with the traditional white and cream clothing which can be seen in both day and night conditions, and is visible at all stages of natural colour deterioration over 80 overs of cricket.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A PINK TURF CRICKET BALL?
It takes 2-3 weeks to produce a Kookaburra cricket ball. The actual manufacturing process is less than this, but as the ball is developed using natural materials, they need to settle, and adjust to how they are treated in the cricket ball making process.
WHO WILL USE THE KOOKABURRA PINK BALLS, AND IN WHAT COUNTRIES?
The next time the Pink Kookaburra Turf ball will be used is on October 23 in the Prime Minister’s XI match against New Zealand at Manuka Oval in Canberra, Australia.
It will be used under lights in in the inaugural day/night test, the third of the Three test series, between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval on 27 November.
Currently the Kookaburra Turf balls are used exclusively in Test Cricket in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
WILL THE PINK BALL ONLY BE USED IN TEST MATCHES? WILL IT ALSO BE USED IN ODI's AND TWENTY/20 GAMES IN THE FUTURE?
The pink ball was developed with Test Cricket in mind. However, we have already seen a demand for the pink ball in domestic matches where teams have wanted to play in their traditional whites, but enjoy the benefits of a colour ball.
15 October 2015