Cricket is one of the world’s most popular sports. Globally, this sport has upwards of 2.5 billion fans, and it is more popular in some countries than it is in others. For example, it’s popular in India, Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and South Africa, which are the major cricket-playing nations. It doesn’t matter where you are from; if you have ever picked up a cricket ball, you most definitely have felt that it’s a bit heavier than other balls like tennis and baseball. But why is this so?
The way the materials used to make cricket balls are tightly wound together makes the whole ball compact, which is why the balls are heavy. The five layers of yarn spanned around the core, and the tough steer hide leather makes it heavier than other balls.
In this article, we will have an in-depth discussion as to why cricket balls are so heavy. So if this interests you in any way, you should definitely read on to find out more because this will be an enlightening and insightful read for you. So stay tuned!
How Much Does a Cricket Ball Weigh?
Though all balls are pretty much the same make, there are two distinct types of stitchings. They include two-piece and four-piece.
A two-piece cricket ball is made up of the cork, string, and two sheets of leather stitched around the cork. These balls are usually lightweight. 4 piece cricket balls, on the other hand, are similar to 2 piece balls, but instead of two leather sheets, four leather sheets are used to make it.
So with this in mind, how much do they both weigh? Generally, a two-piece ball will be lighter than a four-piece one. The weight is important when choosing the right ball. Lighter balls swing more even with the slightest pace, but heavier balls are easier to control.
The following are standard weights of cricket balls:
- Men’s cricket– These balls usually weigh between 5.5 ounces (155.9g) to 5.75 ounces (163g).
- Women’s cricket– These balls weigh between 4.94 ounces (140g) to 5.31 ounces (151g).
- Junior cricket– These balls weigh 4.69 ounces (133g) to 5.06 ounces (143g).
These weights are standards used around the world when playing the game of cricket.
What Materials Are Used To Make Cricket Balls?
Red ball, white ball, pink ball, Kookaburra ball, Duke ball, seaming ball, reverse-swinging ball, spinning ball, old ball, new ball, softball…
With so much technical language in cricket, in this case, just referring to the main object of play, it isn’t a surprise that some people struggle to understand what it all is. But there are questions I’m sure you’ve always wanted to hear. What’s inside a cricket ball, and how are these balls made? Well, I have just the answers you are looking for.
Generally, cricket balls are usually heavier than other balls from other sports such as tennis and baseball (Does It Hurt to Catch a Cricket Ball?) (Does It Hurt to Catch a Cricket Ball?). This has often been a cause of wonderment for lots of people. It’s impossible to answer that question without discussing what these balls are made of.
Primarily, a cricket ball is made up of four components, namely a cork core, several layers of worsted yarn quilted together, and leather. The last is linen which binds it all together and finishes off with a thin coat of nitrocellulose lacquer.
Most cricket balls are made from alum-tanned hide. To make the leather more durable, a tanning process is conducted where aluminum salts are mixed with binders and proteins. Leather has high tensile strength, is resistant to fatigue, and has a high flexing capability.
It’s easy to mold leather, and it will still retain its shape because it illustrates both elastic and plastic properties. Leather fibers also contain finite amounts of water vapor. This allows the material to absorb and dissipate aqueous substances, which is an important feature in shining cricket balls.
Under the leather cover, there are five layers of quilted worsted yarn. Worsted yarn is incredibly ductile, and its elasticity is almost non-existent. Yarn can resist impressive tensile stresses because its material is extremely tough. This property means that worsted yarn can be wound tightly around the core of the ball in different directions.
Compared to wool, worsted yarn is stronger, finer, and smoother. It is highly fibrous and is also rather light for its strength. This means it adds very little mass to the cricket ball.
3. Cork core
At the center of the ball is the cork core which is made from the bark of a Portuguese cork tree. Cork has a low density and is viscoelastic. This means that the cork will readily bounce under applied forces. This characteristic is the reason the ball bounces. The cork size is kept minimal to prevent the ball from bouncing like that of a tennis ball.
So, looking at the materials used to make cricket balls, it isn’t easy to see why they are heavy. Possibly, the reason behind the inexplicable heaviness of cricket balls lies in their construction. By understanding the manufacturing process, we may be able to uncover the reason.
The cork core is usually rounded by hand using a hammer or compressed with specialized machinery. It is then spanned with five layers of worsted yarn. This is then covered with tough steer hide leather to provide strength and endurance. Two sections are then stitched together and added a double seam on the edges. The ball is therefore treated with a nitrose cellulose lacer, which strengthens and adds endurance.
From the above, it’s safe to say some of the possible reasons a cricket ball is a so heavy include:
- The five layers of yarn spanned around the cork core.
- The tough steer hide leather provides strength and endurance.
Generally, the way the materials used to make cricket balls are tightly wound together makes the whole thing compact and is the likely reason why cricket balls are heavy.
In conclusion, when picking a cricket ball, the best thing to do is to see whether a ball fits in your hand. The smaller the ball is, the better control you’ll have over it. So, the best is probably a heavier but smaller cricket ball.
My Favorite Cricket Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find my favorite cricket equipment that I think you’ll like!
- Bat: My favorite cricket bat is the SS Kashmir Willow Cricket Bat, perfect for leather balls, beginners, and intermediate players. I’m not a competitive cricket player, so this affordable yet fantastic bat gets the job done. The best things about it are the blade size, weight, durability, and overall feel.
- Cricket balls: Pro Impact Cricket Balls are the creme of cricket balls. These balls are even fit for professional cricket matches, so the quality is incredible. For intermediate and better players, these balls are great. However, a traditional leather cricket ball may be hard to play for beginners and juniors. That’s why balls such as Nivia Hard Tennis Balls are made for cricket.
- Cricket shoes: Are you tired of focusing on your every step and fearing which step you will slip? When using the Kookaburra Pro 300 Cricket Shoes, you can forget all of that. These shoes are comfortable and slip-resistant; however, they won’t slow your movement on the field.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.