Cricket ball weight plays a very crucial role in any cricket match. Heavy ball can be dangerous for batter safety & while lighter one can influence the quality of game. Thus, the ball weight should be between an ideal range.
We talk a lot about yorkers, bouncers, leg spin and many more, but we hardly think about the ball. In this blog, I am going to discuss everything about cricket ball weight, different types of balls, effect of ball weight on the game & many more things. Since fans are the biggest stakeholders in this game, it is necessary for us to know every information about the ball. So let’s get started.
Cricket Ball Weight – The MCC Rules
The MCC is a cricket governing body that works with ICC to manage the game of cricket. All laws of cricket come under the MCC, Hence MCC has also devised some set of rules about the weight of the cricket ball.
They have set a permanent & mandatory range about the weight of the ball so that every cricket ball used in professional matches must come inside that range.
You should note that the weight of the ball is different for men’s, women’s & under 13 cricket, solely because of the traditionalist view of strength to use them.
According to rule 4.1, The weight of the new ball must be between 155.3 g & 163 g( or 5.5 ounces & 5.75 ounces).
According to rule 4.6.1, In women’s cricket ball weight can never exceed 151 g(5.31 ounces). At the same time, it also must be greater than 140 g(4.94 ounces).
Under 13 Cricket
Acc. to rule 4.6.2, Weight of cricket ball is lowest for under 13 cricket. It must lie between 133 g & 144 g(or 4.69 ounces & 5.06 ounces).
Exact weight of the ball depends upon the manufacturing company, process, conditions and also upon the format of the game.
Umpires, Referees & concerned authorities are responsible for the weight of the ball. In case if the ball in use does not come under those limits, then they are severely punished for their ignorance.
Red, White, Pink Balls – Do their weight differs?
Yes, they differ with each other in weight but only by few grams. This is because every ball has to come inside those ranges set by MCC. However, the exact weight(or range) of these balls is still unknown. Let’s decode these balls with more details.
This is the first & oldest ball used in cricket. After 1977, since the inception of white ball, its use has been limited to test cricket and first-class cricket(Ranji or County cricket).
This ball is generally heavier than white ball since this ball is used for a longer duration. What makes this ball different from other balls is its longevity. Cricket with red balls can be played continuously for at least 80 overs.
First white ball was introduced in World series cricket at Australia in 1977. Main reason behind the release of the ball was visibility. Since one-day cricket(& now T20) is played under flood-lights, thus the white ball has better visibility than the red one.
Its weight is somewhat less than the red ball. You should note that the weight of white ball used in the T20 & ODI format may also differs.
This ball is the latest addition in this list. First international match with pink ball was played in 2015 at Australia. Pink ball use is also limited only to test matches. This ball was introduced to make the test matches played under lights.
Due to its more brightness it is better visible to the batter at night than red balls. Its weight is somewhat greater than the red ball.
Impact of ball weight on game play
Weight of the cricket ball also affects game play in many ways. That’s why the Fielding team gets the opportunity to select their most favorable ball from the set of collections available for the match. Weight of cricket ball affects game in the following ways:
Swing: Swing is a very essential component of fast bowling. It generally means that the ball changes its direction in the air either into the batter or away to the batter. It’s proved by science that the lighter ball swings more & than the heavier ball. But, along with weight, swing also depends upon bowler skill, weather conditions & most importantly ball shine.
Seam: It is another vital component of pace bowling. In the seam, the ball changes its direction just after it pitches the ground. It’s more difficult to handle seam than swing as a batter, since it is difficult to predict where the ball will deviate. Seam is completely independent of ball weight. Means both heavy & light bowls have the same seam. However, seam depends more upon bowler skill, pitch conditions.
Spin: It is the ability of the ball to rotate just after the bounce. Generally spin is dependent upon pitch conditions & bowler ability, but the lighter ball will spin more than the heavier ball. SInce it is easier to impart necessary rotational force on a lighter ball than the heavier one.(You may have observe this with tennis ball while playing in your streets)
Bounce: Bounce of the ball is dependent upon its weight & speed with which it pitches on the ground. Accordingly, Heavier ball will bounce more than the lighter one. But you need to also note that, somehow, pitch also plays a crucial role in the bounce of the ball.
Does climate play any role in the cricket ball weight?
Yes, very much. In case of humidity in the atmosphere, more & more dew will fall on the green field of the stadium. As a Result, the ball will get wetter & wetter as the game goes on. This can add moisture to the ball, causing it to become heavier than when it’s dry.
As we learn above, it will deteriorate the swing, seam & spin available with the ball. The wet ball also demolishes the grip & shine of the ball. Hence, the ball will completely favor the batting team.
This situation is more observed in Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc. Recently, to tackle this situation, the Indian Cricket board has used a chemical in the ground, which partially handles this situation but not completely.
What makes a cricket ball heavy?
There are mainly 3 essential components of a ball which constitutes its weight.
The core of the ball is made of the cork. The core is then reinforced by wrapping the cork with multiple layers of strings very tightly. Finally the leather piece covers the cork & string. Color of the leather can be pink, white or red depending upon its use. You should note that the pink & red leather are generally thicker than the white leather since those balls are used for longer duration in test matches.
The leather casing can be made from either 2 or 4 pieces. The ball to be used in a top-quality game will involve the use of 4 pieces of the leather casing while two-piece balls are generally used for practice or lower-level games. The two hemispheres will be joined at the ball’s equator using several stitch strings(mainly 6).
History involved with Ball weight
Earlier, there were no limits on ball weight. Any type of ball whether heavy or light was used in different matches or even in the same match. The ball was heavier as much as 200 g. This created more difficulty in the game for bowlers & also for batters since there were no protections before. Thus, in the mid 20th century, MCC released its standard rules about ball weight which are followed till today.
A white ball which is quite lighter than red one was also introduced in the game to decrease the difficulty level of the game, overcome visibility issue & elevate the excitement.
Circumference of Cricket Ball
MCC rules about the ball are not only restricted to its weight, but they also include circumference of the ball.
The circumference of a new ball must be between 22.4 cm & 22.9 cm. (8.81 in & 9 in)
In women cricket, The circumference of the new ball must lie in the range 21 cm & 22.5 cm.
Under 13 Cricket
In Junior cricket, the circumference of the ball must be from 20.5 cm to 22 cm.
All MCC Rules about the ball
Approval & control of balls: All balls used in match must be approved by the umpire and shall remain in its possession before the toss and also during the game. At the fall of wickets or some other breaks, the umpire has full right to take the ball into his/her possession.
New Ball: Unless an agreement has been made before the match between the teams, either captain can demand a new ball in the start of new innings.
New ball in test matches: The fielding captain has full right to demand a new ball if the old ball is used for at least 80 overs, excluding any part overs. Umpire should indicate the new ball to the batters & scorers.
Ball lost or becoming unfit to play: If the ball in play is lost or becomes unfit to play, then the umpires have full right to replace that ball with the ball having comparable wear with the previous one. For this ball change, the umpires have to intimate both team captains.
See the original copy of ball rules by MCC.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cricket ball Weight
In the IPL, the weight of a cricket ball used is typically between 155.9 to 163 grams (5.5 to 5.75 ounces). The exact weight may vary, but it generally falls within this range.
The standard weight of a cricket ball used in women’s cricket is typically between 140 to 151 grams (4.94 to 5.33 ounces). It is less than men’s cricket
The weight of a cricket ball used in T20 matches is typically between 155.9 to 163 grams (5.5 to 5.75 ounces).
No. The weight of a cricket ball typically ranges from 5.5 ounces (155.9 grams) to 5.75 ounces (163 grams). The weight of a football is around 14 to 16 ounces (410 to 450 grams). Therefore, the football is heavier than the cricket ball.
Conclusion – Cricket Ball Weight
Many significant facts are hidden beside a small cricket ball. It is good that MCC has regulated the weight of the ball, otherwise it can compromise the safety of the players & game quality. Every ball must be in the standard range of weight to be eligible for use.
Thank you for reading this blog to the end. Tell me in the comment section, which is your favorite color ball & why? Do you think that MCC should change some rules about the ball weight or they are fine? Have you ever used any type of professional ball in your life?
Connect with me at cricketpunch.com for more wonderful blogs like this. Till then, GOOD BYE!
Somesh Lakhera, a passionate cricket enthusiast with over 13 years of dedicated cricket-watching experience. With an unwavering love for the game, Somesh shares his insights and knowledge through his cricket blogging, bringing the excitement of cricket to fans around the world.