As one of the most popular sports in Australia, cricket is a great choice for getting some physical activity for people of all generations. The many benefits it offers are enough reason why you should make it your hobby, even if you aren’t that much into it, or particularly good at it, for that matter. Besides improving your hand-eye coordination, stamina, fitness level, and enhancing your concentration, it’s also perfect for ameliorating cardiovascular health, improving agility, as well as burning some calories. Plus, you get the chance to gain muscle mass and have fun in the outdoors. Having said that, what more could you wish for?
Now, to get into the sport, the first step is to acquire the needed bits and pieces of equipment, starting from adequate clothing, including briefs and batting shorts, trousers, shirts, and socks – all white in colour. Training tops, hoodies, and caps come in handy as well for protection from the weather. On the side of your safety, you shouldn’t start playing without batting gloves, abdomen guards, thigh and inner thigh guards, mouth and arm guards, wicket-keeping pads, and of course, a helmet.
Besides bats, other equally crucial components that are sadly often overlooked are cricket balls online that not many sports stores specialise in. Taking their importance in mind, these pieces of equipment are essential in training and the game as a whole. The following factors are important to consider when shopping for the ideal cricket ball.
Get to Know the Different Types of Cricket Balls
The first thing you’re going to notice when you start the quest for looking for the ideal cricket ball is that they come in various colours and sizes. These differences stem from the fact that they’re made as such for a purpose. For example, while in the past, the colour red was the norm for balls for this sport. It soon became obvious they weren’t the perfect option, especially for night games. As a result, white balls were introduced as they offer a greater level of visibility.
Although white cork cricket balls are the preferred choice when it comes to matches like the T20 and ODI, red ones aren’t out of the game either. They’re still used for test matches, much like the trending yellow ones. Another colour that’s become popular for day-night test matches is pink. Pink is described as the future of test cricket due to the great visibility it offers when under floodlights.
The difference in colours aside, two other distinct types of balls you’re going to come across are soft and tennis balls. The first is ideal for the training of children and juniors, as they allow for better hand-eye coordination, whereas the latter is preferred for their bouncing properties that outmatch those of soft balls, while still offering the same feel off the bat.
Consider the Materials
Maybe you’ll find the materials not to be all too important. However, they may have a say in the outcome of the games because of their role in the bouncing properties, for instance. As a beginner, you may not think of the material quality as imperative, but if you plan on becoming serious with the sport, forget about cheap alternatives and buy quality cricket balls online shops offer.
You can tell a quality ball by its core, which should consist of wound strings and cork strips. These are the perfect materials since they have a positive impact, not only on the bouncing but the shape of the balls as well. As for the outer layer, when you’re looking for a quality material that can withstand all the wear and tear you put it through in your training and games, nothing beats leather.
Though most balls are made of leather, there are differences in the quality of leather as well. You might hear about 2-piece and 4-piece options of cricket balls, and get confused as to which is better. Well, the main thing to understand is that 2 piece balls are simply balls made up of two sheets of leather stitched together, as opposed to four. While at first glance they don’t appear that different, the 2-piece design is great if you’re after more swinging, and the 4-piece counterpart is perfect if you’re looking for strength and durability.
Don’t Forget the Size and Weight
These two aspects are crucial both for the balance of the balls and the safety throughout the games. In other words, when shopping from the vast array of cricket balls online stores are generally well-stocked in a wide range of balls that differ in size and weight. Following the International Cricket Council’s regulations, these two factors vary for men, women, and children. For example, the ideal balls for men’s cricket weigh between 155.9g and 163g and are 22.4cm to 22.9cm in circumference. The women’s cricket ball design should be anywhere between 140-151g in size and 21.0-22.5cm in circumference, whereas that of children and juniors should be weighing 133-144g with 20.5-22.0cm in circumference.