And this is why we love cricket: a ball that is in a process of continuous variation, a pitch that is in a process of continuous variation. An ever new set of conditions to 'read'. The quality of the cricket ball (and the pitches!) therefore plays a hugely significant part in balancing out the cricketing ecosystem, ensuring that neither batters nor bowlers become predators or prey for too long.
And cricket balls had been in the news a lot during the latter part of 2015: first, in the wake of #60allout, various Aussie luminaries advocated their fair nation using the Duke's ball in first-class cricket; then, when the pitches in the Emirates and Cape Town were too flat, people called for them to take up the Duke's, too. And then there was the pink ball to be used in Test cricket's first day-night game...
It was with all this in mind that I went down to East London to speak to Dilip Jadojia, boss of Morrant Sport, who own Duke's, to find out why their hand-stitched ball was better than the much-maligned Kookaburra.
The resulting article was difficult to write up, insofar as it inevitably came quite close to advertorial in places: Dilip's observations about having cricket balls that were good for the game of cricket of course overlap significantly with his commercial interests. That said, there are a good number of second opinions out there who would fully support his claims. All told, it was an interesting two-hour chat with a very, very smart cookie.
In quest of a durable cricket ball