Exploring the history of cricket: who invented the cricket ball?

Premium cricket balls are meticulously manufactured through the process of carefully affixing six rows of stitches to skillfully bind the leather shell of the ball to its string and cork core. Cricket, which emerged in the mid-16th century in South East England, underwent a process of worldwide expansion facilitated by the growth and reach of the British Empire. The latter half of the 19th century saw the advent of international cricket matches.

The fundamental equipment requisite for participating in a game of cricket includes a bat and a ball. Throughout the annals of cricket’s storied history, the bat has undergone myriad evolutions, enhancements and adjustments, in a manner that stands in stark contrast to the seldom observed revisions made to the cricket ball.

The cricket ball, which is a rigid and contoured sphere with distinctive ridges, possesses a circumference measuring approximately nine inches or 23 centimeters. In accordance with the established regulations of cricket, superior-grade cricket balls are fabricated by means of an alignment process which involves six series of sutures that integrate the external cover made of leather with the internal constituents of string and cork.

Who invented the cricket ball?

It is widely believed that the emergence of mass production of cricket balls dates back to the period between 1760 and 1841. This breakthrough is largely attributed to the entrepreneurial efforts of the Duke family, whose small-scale enterprise at Redleaf Hill in Penshurst, Kent, is recognized as the epicenter of this innovation.

In 1775, Duke and Son were bestowed with a Royal Patent by King George IV for their esteemed cricket balls. In the year 1780, they had developed the maiden six-seam cricket ball which was employed in the cricket games of the season.

Due to its increasing notoriety in the Weald region of Kent and Sussex, the sport of cricket was accompanied by noteworthy contributions to its history and growth by the Duke & Son family, renowned for their craftsmanship in the production of cricket balls.

Following the conclusion of World War II, the prominence of Duke balls in Australia dissipated. Subsequently, the Australian Cricket Board granted a contract to Kookaburra, a business owned by the Thompson family. Currently, Kookaburra’s white cricket balls exhibit a more prominent market share in comparison to their red counterparts. Furthermore, they have attained a distinguished reputation as the foremost producer of cricket balls on a global scale.

In 1931, the corporation Sanspareils Greenlands (SG) initiated production of cricket balls, establishing its operations in India. The establishment of the organization was initiated by the siblings, Kedarnath and Dwarakanath Anand. The SG balls exhibit certain discernible features such as prominently and closely positioned seams, which differentiate them from Kookaburra balls. This distinction is notable in the realm of sports equipment. Since 1994, all domestic Test matches conducted in India have been implemented through the utilization of SG balls.

Evolution of cricket balls

Traditionally, the exclusive application of red cricket balls in Test matches and other competitive forms of cricket endured until the year 1977. The prevalent notion posits that newly procured red balls offer increased swing and seam characteristics, whereas aged counterparts possess the ability to elicit tardy, reverse swing.

In 1977, a significant transformation took place with the inception of white cricket balls that were introduced during the World Series Cricket in Australia. This tournament was established by Kerry Packer. It has been empirically observed that white cricket balls tend to lose their hardness at a faster rate in comparison to their red counterparts, rendering them potentially unsuitable for use in extended versions of the sport.

As a means of facilitating day-night Test matches, the Marylebone Cricket Club posited the adoption of pink balls in 2009 as a viable solution to the challenges posed by visibility concerns when using red balls during nighttime play.

Australia and New Zealand made history in 2015 as they participated in the inaugural pink-ball Test match, thereby ushering in a new chapter in Test cricket. According to prevailing assertions, pink-colored cricket balls exhibit a greater propensity for lateral movement than their red counterparts when utilized during night-time games, thus conferring a competitive edge upon fast-pace bowlers.

Cricket ball characteristics

The manufacturing of cricket balls is regulated by the British Standard BS 5993, which guarantees adherence to established criteria for dimensions, excellence, composition, and operational efficiency of such spheres. As per the primary decree pertaining to cricket, which was instituted in 1744, the stipulated range for the weight of a cricket ball is between 5 oz and 6 oz.

During the 1770s, a revision was made to the weight range, where it was adjusted to range between 5 ounces and 5. 75 ounces Furthermore, it is imperative for the ball’s circumference to adequately fall within the range of 8. 8125 to 9 inches.

Currently, three primary corporations manufacture global cricket balls, namely Dukes, Kookaburra, and SG. The utilization of cricket balls varies across the globe. In England and the West Indies, Dukes balls are predominantly employed, while in India, SG balls are preferred. Conversely, in other cricket-playing nations, Kookaburra balls are the preferred choice.


The developmental trajectory and uniformity of cricket balls have engendered a captivating odyssey, reflective of the advancement and progress of cricket as a sporting discipline. Throughout its history, cricket has relied upon the fastidious fabrication of its balls as a vital element in upholding the integrity of the sport. The game of cricket has witnessed the introduction and utilization of various cricket balls including the conventional red variant, the relatively recent white and pink derivatives, and the divergent adaptations fabricated by distinct manufacturers such as Dukes, Kookaburra, and SG. Each type of cricket ball has conferred distinctive implications in terms of the game’s strategy and dynamics.

Looking ahead, as the domain of cricket persists in its progression and adjustment, it is rational to envisage forthcoming progressions and ameliorations in the structure and fabrication of cricket balls. Notwithstanding, it is imperative that such progressions are executed in such a manner that upholds and safeguards the fundamental equilibrium between the bat and the ball, an essential aspect at the core of this sport. According to the commonly held belief in the sport of cricket, the initiation of the game can be attributed to the creation of a proficiently crafted cricket ball.

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