Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport Academy
BBC Sport You are in: Cricket: Features  

Give It A Go
Jargon Guide

Latest Sports News
Academy Parent

Get the newsletter
Will it be all white on the night?
Around the Academy:

Glenn McGrath bowls a few overs in training
Fast bowlers like Glenn McGrath love the whilte ball

But what do the people that really matter - the cricket players - think?

They say white balls are just not the same as red ones.

They claim white balls have more sting and more swing!

They say the red ones have a more leathery texture while the glassy finish on the white version makes them behave differently when bowled.

As well as being harder (apparently six bats were broken when the New Zealand team tested the white ball out), they also swung more according to some players.

Muttiah Muralitharan looks like he has a white ball for an eye as he tosses the ball in practise
Murali still manages to turn the white ball

Is this a bad thing?
For spin bowlers, possibly. The extra shine on the ball will affect their grip and the way the ball acts on the pitch.

Medium pacers and fast bowlers will be fine as long as they can control the swing.

Do they have any evidence for this?
New Zealand pensioner Brian Wilkins, a keen amateur bowler, has been looking into claims that the white balls swing more than the red ones.

Firing a mixture of balls from a specially-made bowling machine he found the white balls deviated from a straight path much more than the red ones.

The manufacturers still aren't convinced?
No. They say the difference in swing is more to do with the different conditions in which the balls are used.

"It is more likely that is an optical illusion, being the difference in the conditions under which both forms of the game are played," said Kookaburra's Weston.

Back to top

The white ball
Why's it different?

Open Quote
The number of times the white ball is changed is becoming an increasing problem.
Close Quote
Darren Gough
England bowler Darren Gough

^^ Back to top
© BBC Contact us | Help | About us Disclaimer
Football  |  Cricket  |  Tennis  |  Golf  |  Rugby Union  |  Rugby League  |  Athletics  |  Basketball  |  Swimming
Other Sport  |  In the Gym  |  Healthy Eating  |  Treatment Room  |  Your Blueprint  |  Learning Centre