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Back You are here: Home Sports Cricket Kwa Zulu Natal "Soft Balls" Hurting English Cricket
Thursday, 05 November 2009 11:57

"Soft Balls" Hurting English Cricket

With the start of England's cricket tour of South Africa this week it is interesting to see how many Southern Africans grace their team. Including Zimbabwean Coach Andy Flower a total of 5 members of their squad were born in these parts with the majority learning their junior cricket here too. It is little wonder England are looking to other countries to boost their pool of players with the latest warning from a Conservative Member of Parliament in the UK who has warned...

that the future of English cricket is in jeopardy because state schools are opting for soft balls, rather than the traditional 'corkies'.

According to Tony Baldry, just one in 25 matches now played in state schools involve the use of corkies. Baldry has now raised concerns in the Commons, claiming the trend was putting the national game under threat. Unless youngsters learn and are able to play cricket with cricket balls, their game simply isn't going to develop to get them to a decent club standard," says Baldry.

Cricket balls normally weigh up to 163g in regulation matches and are made of cork in a leather case with a sewn seam. However, Baldry said only four per cent of matches in schools use conventional balls.

"If we are going to enhance youngsters coming through secondary schools into club cricket they have to be able to play with cricket balls. They are playing with soft balls. A cricket ball has a seam, so if you are a bowler or a fielder or a batsman you need to know how a cricket ball is going to respond when you play with it," Baldry said.

It will be an interesting summer and time will tell how much better the South Africans in the England team fair compared to their 'countrymen' on the faster bouncer wickets.