If you’re going to use the Kookaburra ball in the County Championship, do it correctly

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< 1 minute read

Joe Root has become the latest person to suggest that they should use the Kookaburra ball for some of the County Championship.

There is a very obvious and correct way of doing this that almost certainly be overlooked.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Root said of the Kookaburra: “It is a flat seam, does not stay as hard for as long, so our bowlers get used to bowling with something that does not do as much. Batters get used to that style of cricket, which can be slow and attritional at times.”

There are two interconnected problems with county cricket that can fairly easily be resolved through use of the Kookaburra.

  1. English bowlers are rubbish at bowling with the Kookaburra cricket ball
  2. Half the County Championship is played in April and May when the Dukes cricket ball goes sideways

If you use the Kookaburra for half the matches, the first problem is addressed. The timing of those matches should then be influenced by the second problem.

So here’s our mad solution: you play the first half of the Championship with the Kookaburra and then, when pitches have dried out a bit, you play the second half with the Dukes ball.

This is not what they’ll do. What they’ll do is they’ll use the Kookaburra for a couple of matches in the middle of the season. In 2021, when the Championship is going to be played at the same time as The Hundred, they’ll use it in those matches.

Don’t ask us why. Don’t ask us how we know. This is just what’s going to happen.


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  1. Here’s another mad solution: they could alternate, in the same match – the team that loses the toss gets to pick the first one, then it swaps, including if a new ball is claimed during an innings.

    It’s madness, of course, but imagine the tactical angle….

    1. ‘cos cricket needs more totally illogical rules to entice women, kids, frogs and all the other people who aren’t (according to the ECB) capable of understanding that the ball pitched outside leg stump, so the batsman can’t be out. Maybe they could put a selection of balls in a bran-tub then have the away captain select the ball that isn’t the one they use.

      Cricket isn’t all that broken. More free school tickets to county matches would enhance the game. If they want to go for a city based franchise, then mixed sex cricket would enhance the Woman’s game.

      Just get a bloody grip. You don’t need fireworks or ladies dancing or that stupid trumpet noise. I threw a brand spanking new phone against a corrugated shed when Ben Stokes was winning the world cup. I stopped on the hard shoulder of the M6, and got told off by the police, when the same ginger headed tosspiece was refusing to take singles during a testmatch in Leeds.

      Cricket is good. It really is very good. It’s why we’re all here. Market it better.

  2. Apologies for spelling out the bleeding obvious, but there really is only one way to conduct this experiment properly.

    You play the same County Championship matches with identical teams and conditions in two parallel universes – in one of those universes the matches are played with The Duke, in the other universe the matches are played with The Kookaburra.

    Bert is a scientific sort of chap. I nominate Bert to conduct the experiment and report back on its findings.

  3. The winner of the toss gets to decide whether they choose which type or ball, or whether to bat first. The loser gets to make the other choice. I started typing this meaning it facetiously, but as I type I’ve decided that it is actually works, for both Test and domestic FC.

    1. Get rid of the toss altogether.

      Visiting team gets to decide whether they want to bat or bowl first in the first test, and you alternate from then on. Home team decides what ball to use in the first test, and again you alternate for any further tests.

      Even if the ball thing doesn’t happen, I still think this would be a good way to get rid of the toss altogether.

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