The West

Kookaburra balls under threat
Kookaburra balls under threat

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.

"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.

The West Australian

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