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adb club cricketer

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Cricket ball question
« on: July 20, 2017, 08:39:27 PM »

Alright, this is going to be quite a basic question, but one I always wondered.

Why does a cricket ball have seam? Almost all ball sports such as tennis, ping pong, soccer etc etc have perfectly round balls. Why did cricket go with the concept of having a seam on it, making the ball not perfectly spherical? Why not just a perfectly round ball such as for e.g. the bowling machine ball type or something else without a seam but uniformly spherical?
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Big Mac

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 10:43:02 PM »

I'd guess that it's because of the way they were hand-stitched back in the day and it's been left there ever since because the seam became so important for bowling. If the seam was removed then they may as well replace bowlers with bowling machines because suddenly the ball won't swing, won't seam off the pitch and spinners won't get the ball to drift through the air.

As far the other sports go, tennis balls have those lines as a throwback to the days when they were sewn together and footballs used to have plenty of seams when they were put together with a bunch of different panels sewn together.

Every four years Adidas brags about how they've made the ball 'rounder' and reduced the number of seams on the ball, then the tournament starts and all the players moan because they can't control the ball and all of their shots suddenly end up in Row Z

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adb club cricketer

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2017, 11:36:06 PM »

Interesting! However, soccer and tennis balls are still symmetrical even with the grooves, so still round. Even baseballs are symmetrical with their curved grooves. Cricket ball is only one I can think of which is not symmetrically round. I don't think seam is only cause of swing. Bowling machines can make the bowling machine ball swing too without the seam.. For e.g., if you shine one half of the cricket ball which doesnt have seam but just a mark/line round the ball at the place of the seam, I would think it will still swing..
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 11:41:25 PM by adb club cricketer »
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adb club cricketer

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 11:48:47 PM »

On a side note, maybe they should start modernizing the cricket ball with aim to

1) Restore bat ball balance
2) Reduce injuries to bowlers/fielders. Why doesnt ICC look at ways to make it safer for bowlers? I think they are the most vulnerable, more than the fielders as they are in their follow through when the ball comes back like a rocket at them, at least they should invent some type of helmets for bowlers. Recent incidents will only increase in future, hope ICC doesnt wait until someone loses his life as happened with the case of neck guards invention..
3) Keep swing/seam/spin properties similar or as close to current ball as possible
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Biggie Smalls

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2017, 06:47:05 AM »

if a cricket ball became less of a 'projectile' ie not as hard , id be disappointed and it would deteact from the sport imo.
i reckon pace bowlers need /enjoy the bounce but also knowing they can physically threaten.  also as a batsman i take pride in 'maning up' to proper heat and keeping myself intact.
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Neon Cricket

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2017, 07:17:44 AM »

"at least they should invent some type of helmets for bowlers"

Really? Lets be honest, anything past a rugby style scrum-cap would only inhibit the bowlers, and in turn likely make it more dangerous than less...

joeyfivebags

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 07:44:16 AM »

Interesting! However, soccer and tennis balls are still symmetrical even with the grooves, so still round. Even baseballs are symmetrical with their curved grooves. Cricket ball is only one I can think of which is not symmetrically round. I don't think seam is only cause of swing. Bowling machines can make the bowling machine ball swing too without the seam.. For e.g., if you shine one half of the cricket ball which doesnt have seam but just a mark/line round the ball at the place of the seam, I would think it will still swing..

Swing isn't just about shiny side versus rough side, the seam helps disrupt the flow of air. Bowling machines use the magnus effect to create swing rather than genuine turbulent and laminar flow, the magnus effect is also how baseballs move and is responsible for drift of spinners.
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Big Mac

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 02:33:41 PM »

Interesting! However, soccer and tennis balls are still symmetrical even with the grooves, so still round. Even baseballs are symmetrical with their curved grooves. Cricket ball is only one I can think of which is not symmetrically round. I don't think seam is only cause of swing. Bowling machines can make the bowling machine ball swing too without the seam.. For e.g., if you shine one half of the cricket ball which doesnt have seam but just a mark/line round the ball at the place of the seam, I would think it will still swing..

Like Joey said above me, bowling machines make the ball swing because they put spin on the ball a bit like a footballer kicking across the ball and making it curl through the air. Fast bowlers can't put that kind of spin on the ball so removing the seam removes swinging deliveries from a quick bowlers armoury, as well as obviously taking seam bowling out of the equation. Put it this way, if swing was just about having a shiny side and a rough side then the new ball would never swing  ;)
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adb club cricketer

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2017, 04:05:47 PM »

Sure, agree with most of the replies here. I agree the seam gives more "character" to the cricket ball and wouldnt want to do away with it. In terms of safety, I am not talking about safety to bastmen or bowlers being able to "threaten" them, for that we have adequate protection and skill of batsmen. I am specifically more concerned about safety of the bowlers getting hit on their follow through as happened recently, someone needs to invent some protection for bowlers IMO, i am sure there could be some way to protect bowlers heads without inhibiting their bowling action with all the current/future technology..
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edge

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Re: Cricket ball question
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2017, 05:36:08 PM »

All international white ball cricket is already played with a ball with no seam - the Kookaburra? ;)

On a side note; if the seam was removed and the ball was perfectly round and shiny, it'd swerve around like nobody's business.
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