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Charles Dagnall's romantic county cricket balls
Cricket ball
This '90 overs' leather county cricket ball looks old before its time!

As part of the 'History of the World' project, BBC Leicester presenters have been talking about personal objects with a wider world interest.

Charles Dagnall was a professional cricketer for 10 years before moving into radio, when persistent shin problems forced him to retire in 2005.

His choice of two object come from his time playing county cricket for Warwickshire and Leicestershire.

They are handmade cricket balls, one brand new and the other well loved.

Looking at its condition, you would be excused for thinking the older ball had been used for years and years.

BBC Leicester's Charles Dagnall with his cricket balls and medal
Charles Dagnall poses with his cricket balls and Twenty20 medal

In fact, it has only be used for the maximum 90 overs before a ball needs to be changed. Though, as Charles pointed out, this means being thrown 540 times, being hit by a bat, and bouncing off concrete surfaces.

The romance of cricket

In a match it would be Charles' responsibility to choose a new ball from a choice of six every 90 overs.

This is where he could truly appreciate that each hand-stitched leather ball differs in feel, colour and size

"People talk about the science that goes into cricket bats and the rest of the cricket equipment.

"Just the simple cricket ball is what makes the game so fascinating for me and, because the game of cricket is how it is, this one ball can make a world of difference to the entire game that you play."

Charles feels there is a kind of romance about the thoroughly British object, when he takes it in his hand.

"It might just seem a simple cricket ball, but for me this is 10 years of my life, this is what I used to do for a living.

"The ball was my sort of weapon of choice if you like and for me personally it got me through an entire career of county cricket."


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