HomeSportsCricketHow Cricket Balls Are Made | Step-by-Step Guide of Crafting Cricket Balls
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How Cricket Balls Are Made | Step-by-Step Guide of Crafting Cricket Balls

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In the sport of cricket, the balls play a pivotal role because without the ball, playing the game is certainly not possible. Now there are various types of cricket balls available; red ball, white ball, duke ball, and Kookaburra ball to name a few. Of course, to a newcomer, this may all prove to be a bit overwhelming. So, to lay out the basics, we need to understand how a cricket ball is made.

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Cricket balls, just like planets, are composed of different layers. The various layers come together to form the shape of a sphere. Nowadays, the balls are rarely handmade. Unlike in the days of yore, when craftsmen used to shape the leather and stitch the seam with their own hands, nowadays, machines are primarily used to get the job done. It proves to be a much more efficient and faster process.

The Manufacturing Process

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The entire process of how the ball is prepared can be summed up as follows:

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  1. In the initial stages of preparing the ball, a small, rounded, central sphere of cork is taken.
  2. A bit of string is tightly wound around it. This is done until the ball gets to a certain width.
  3. The leather exterior is now put in place before the ball is stitched.
  4. This step in the procedure is where occur some differences in the process. Some of the producers use a machine to do the stitching while others will continue to finish off the ball by hand.
  5. The ball is then polished until a high sheen is achieved.
  6. Finally, the branding of the manufacturer is then stamped onto the surface and the ball is finally finished.

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What is a cricket ball made of?

image source-itsonlycricket

As mentioned before, there are several layers in the cricket ball. Different types of materials find use in their preparation. Let us go through the materials used in the preparation of the standard cricket ball:

Cork Centre

At the center of the cricket ball, a hard sphere of cork is utilized. This is done since the cork is a tough and durable material. Furthermore, the cork is reinforced with rubber for extra hardness.

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The Duke manufacturer of the cricket ball, which produces balls for professional games in the United Kingdom, more often not depends on machine-made cork for the ball, and the rubber is imported from Malaysia, which is a major supplier of rubber.

The cork is the smallest part of the ball, but it is of vital importance since it is the central part of the ball. Since this acts as the foundation, care must be taken to ensure its structural integrity.


A tightly wound yarn /string is utilized in the subsequent stage of the manufacturing process.

Though it may not seem as important, wounding of the yarn is a very important aspect of the preparation of the ball, it is because the tightness of the yarn is instrumental and pivotal in determining the weight and hardness of the ball.

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Leather Exterior

The famous saying about the sound of ‘leather on willow’ comes from this aspect of the ball. A leather exterior surrounds the cork and string. This leather exterior provides the surface of the ball itself.

Primarily, cow leather is used in this stage of the manufacturing process. That is the usual norm of exterior preparation. However, in certain odd instances, buffalo or ox leather is also used.

It is worth mentioning that the Duke brand obtains its leather from a specific tannery in Scotland, which is believed to provide the best leather.

Four segments of leather are used on the surface. For the red balls, there should be four equal quarters of leather, whereas, for the white ball, it’s possible to use two pieces of leather. It is this difference that also results in the difference in the durability of the balls.

It is also very important to maintain the thickness here. For the Dukes ball, the leather can be between 4mm and 4.5mm thick; whereas for the other balls, particularly those made and used in the subcontinent, the surface could be between 2mm and 3mm.

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In the final stage, the leather surface can be seen put in its place via the stitching process. The seam stitches the leather in as it goes around the circumference of the ball.

As mentioned earlier, the majority of the preparation is done by machines; however, certain elements such as stitching are still performed by hand.

For instance, with the Dukes ball, there are six individual rows around the circumference of the ball and all of them are hand stitched. It is a very meticulous and time-consuming process, however, this ensures the high quality of the product.


And finally, in the end, the leather is polished very thoroughly, giving it a nice clean sheen.

Many brands apply certain types of grease while shining the ball. This grease prevents the ball from picking up any moisture, thereby ensuring the longevity and high quality of the balls.

Though the process may vary slightly, for companies such as Dukes, Kookaburra, or even SG (Sanspareils Greenlands) the overall process remains more or less similar.

Different Types of Cricket Balls

Types of Cricket Balls- Kreedon
Image Source- Cricket Times
  •       Red ball (primarily used for test cricket and first-class cricket)
  •       White ball (used for ODIs, T-2Os, etc)
  •       Pink Ball (recently introduced and finds usage in test cricket)

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What kind of leather is used for making cricket balls?

Cricket balls are traditionally made using high-grade leather, often sourced from cows. The leather used needs to be durable, have the right texture, and possess good water resistance properties to withstand the rigors of the game.

What is the role of cork in cricket balls?

The cork forms the core of a cricket ball and is responsible for its weight and bounce. The cork core is compressed and shaped into a hemisphere, providing the ball with its characteristic round shape and ensuring it maintains its bounce during play.

Are all cricket balls the same weight?

Cricket balls come in different weights to suit different formats of the game. Test match balls typically weigh between 155.9 to 163 grams, while limited-overs match balls are slightly lighter, ranging from 142 to 156 grams.

Are cricket balls made differently for different pitch conditions?

Cricket balls may be customized slightly based on pitch conditions and environmental factors. For instance, in countries with humid conditions, manufacturers may use additional water-resistant treatments on the leather to prevent excessive absorption. Similarly, variations in ball construction may be made to adapt to different pitch types, such as using softer cores for slower pitches or harder cores for faster pitches.

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