The University of Queensland and Cricket Australia are developing a new standard to give community cricket clubs and associations access to high quality, competitively-priced cricket balls.
The Australian Cricket Ball Standard will govern the quality of cricket balls used in premier cricket, senior community turf and senior community synthetic competition, with further criteria to be developed for other levels of competition.
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Science’s Associate Professor Glen Lichtwark and School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering‘s Dr Michael Heitzmann have developed a suite of testing methods, including an air-powered cannon which fires cricket balls into landing plates to replicate the force applied by the pitch and the bat.
“Cricket is an intrinsic element of our nation’s sporting landscape, so to develop a standard that will provide greater options and choice for cricketers in Australia is something we are proud to be part of,” Dr Lichtwark said.
“Each ball will undergo testing on ball mass, centre of gravity, shape, colour, bounce, hardness and wear.”
Dr Heitzmann said each model that passed would be deemed compliant for up to three years before being re-tested.
“It was a real challenge to develop a testing method that captures the performance of a wide variety of cricket balls,” he said.
“We were able to draw on the expertise of UQ’s Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing to ensure our methods were suitable for ongoing testing from a variety of manufacturers.”
Cricket Australia’s Kieran McMillan said the new standard would enhance the calibre of community cricket and prompt off-field competition to spur innovation and excellence across the sport.
“We are always looking at ways to improve the quality of cricket experiences at community level and ensure our sport is accessible and affordable for everyone,” Mr McMillan said.
“Cricket Australia has been delighted with the cooperation from manufacturers, clubs and associations to demonstrate a united front on performance and quality of cricket balls in Australia.”
Formal testing for the Australian Cricket Ball Standard started on 18 March and the first ball standards are due to be announced by mid-June.
Full details and information on compliant ball models will be available from late-April via Cricket Australia.