Watch: The Manufacturing of Cricket Balls

Watch: The Manufacturing of Cricket Balls

Only one ball has played more test matches, taken more test wickets, scored more test runs and that ball is kookaburra turf ball. Australian Cricket Board chose the turf ball to use in 1946 Test series. The kookaburra is still hand crafted and hand stitched. To begin making the ball that is now used by 8 out of 10 test playing nations, kookaburra uses heavy leather steer hide – the same leather is used for red and white balls and with the dyes different. Tanned, cut and then shaped into hemisphere, the leather is then stitched to ensure that it keeps it shape. Quality and consistency is paramount.

The manufacturing technique has changed little over many decades, Kookaburra invest heavily in research and development, manufacturing and testing to ensure the absolute consistency in the quality of every ball. At the same time the leather is being wooled, the cork is tightly rounded and attached with worsted yarn. This process is repeated five times. These half prepared balls are measured and weighed to keep consistency and quality control. Then the two hemispheres are stitched together with a very fine nylon. It is a skill which has not changed since 1890’s. Now almost ready to play, the turf balls are shined to match the Test match requirements. Finally, the kookaburra balls are branded with the iconic kookaburra stamp before facing a final test on the pitch.

The very first kookaburra ball was used by Don Bradman’s men and now kookaburra manufactures half a million cricket balls over a year in 15 different styles and indeed the kookaburra sport is the largest manufacturer of cricket balls in the world. Whether it is Test cricket, Twenty20 or junior, kookaburra cricket balls are the cricket balls of choice.