Following Australia’s defeat on the two most recent Ashes tour, Cricket Australia (CA) has announced plans to replace the iconic Kookaburra balls with England’s Dukes ball in domestic cricket to better prepare players for next year’s Ashes tour.
This move to replace locally made Kookaburra balls with imported Dukes balls has hurt Australia’s Kookaburra Sport, the country’s leading manufacturer of the most widely used ball brand in Test cricket since 1890.
Kookaburra director Rob Elliot ‘‘if Cricket Australia and if cricket’s not supporting Kookaburra and wants to go down the imported path, then the manufacturing of cricket balls will go to the subcontinent in Pakistan or India and it will be the end of Kookaburra as we know it,’’ the Fairfax Media reports.
Elliot added that ‘‘if we are not supported by cricket in Australia then Kookaburra won’t exist, basically.’’
He went on to say that “the thing that concerns me is that all of a sudden this sort of thing erodes Australian manufacturing and Australian jobs.”
CA's senior cricket operations manager Sean Cary told the newspaper that “'one of our motivations from a grassroots perspective was to look at the cost of playing a game of cricket.”
Dukes balls are cheaper when compared to the locally made Kookaburra, and according to CA this move of introducing different kinds of balls will help to minimise the costs for Australian cricket.
In response to CA Australia’s comment on minimising costs of playing games Elliot stated that “if price is the issue, that’s the price you pay for quality. Anything can be cheaper."
The imported red Dukes ball will be tested in the under-age championships and a few second-XI games in Australia this summer.