Iconic Kookaburra cricket ball under threat

Yahoo!7 October 25, 2012, 10:46 am

Cricket Australia has made the stunning decision to bring England's Dukes cricket ball to domestic sport, replacing the iconic balls from Kookaburra.

The balls, which have been credited as a factor in Australia's defeats in the 2005 and 2009 Ashes series, are currently used in Test matches in England and are believed to swing more in the right conditions.

Kookaburra, who deliver the majority of balls in Australian cricket, say that the move will kill their 122-year-old company, Fairfax reported.

"If we are not supported by cricket in Australia then Kookaburra won't exist, basically," Kookaburra director Rob Elliott said.

"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 and it will be the end of Kookaburra as we know it.

"That's the thing that concerns me … that all of a sudden this sort of thing erodes Australian manufacturing and Australian jobs."

Eagle Sports, the local distributor of the Dukes ball, said British Cricket Balls Ltd had been looking to get into the Australian market for a long time.

Cricket Australia plan to bring the darker red ball to the under-age championships some second-XI games this season as a trial.

"Dilip Jajodia has been trying to break into the market for quite some time. It's perhaps the first time he's actually got support from Cricket Australia, so it's an opening for us,'' said Eagle Sports' Phil O'Meara.

He said that the company would have to wait until Kookaburra's contracts that allow them to sell to schools and club associations expire before they can move on that market to.

"In the marketplace here, Kookaburra are so strong they've perhaps tied up I'd say 90 per cent of the four-piece market, with contracts with all the associations. You've got to wait for a contract to come up before you can even bid for it," he said.

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  1. Ryan01:37pm Friday 26th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    This is the part I don't understand. If it is an advantage for England when the Ashes is over in England using a Duke ball, doesn't Australia have the advantage using the Kookaburra in Australia? If you go back over the past 20 years, it's only been the past few years that Australia has struggled. This is more to do with the quality of the current players rather than the balls. I wish CA would just be honest and say its a cost cutting measure. Obviously it is cheaper to import them. Everyone who plays cricket in Australia knows the Kookaburra balls aren't cheap. I'll play with whatever ball we are asked to use. It's a shame though that it is going to cost many jobs at one of Australias longest running companies.

  2. Johnno of VT05:09pm Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What a f#*%$&g disgrace!!! Cricket Australia should hang their collective heads in shame!!

    10 Replies
  3. David02:11pm Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    The same cricket ball should be used world wide for first class games - Instead of just abandoning Kookaburra CA should help them - How about Kookaburra making the Duke ball in Australia under a license agreement with the support of CA.

    9 Replies
  4. Steve02:10pm Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Ask Terry Alderman which balls he preferred.

    7 Replies
  5. Col02:02pm Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Maybe it's just a final admission by Kookaburra that their product is just not suited to the 6 ball over! If it is, it has only taken them 4 decades to admit it.

    24 Replies
  6. Gavin12:56pm Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I wonder how much the directors of cricket Australia are getting as kick backs

  7. Barry12:21pm Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    All been tried before and not worked.No longevity in the ball and extra hard also.Need to change the bats next maybe to aluminium.

  8. Michael12:13pm Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Dukes have been tried in Australia before. They simply dont last on harder Australian wickets. But by the same token, I think Kookaburra need to work on their balls to make them swing more.

  9. Roger12:10pm Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What is Cricket Australia thinking? Support Australia, not overseas companies!

  10. Fairsky11:57am Thursday 25th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I thought our catch phrase was "Buy Australian" When a corporation has the word Australia in thier title, they should be obliged to buy Australian. Are Kookaburra trying to get a piece of the English market? Maybe their balls aren't up to scratch.




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