UQ develops quality standard for cricket’s most important piece of equipment

We were engaged by Cricket Australia to
test the mechanical performance and the durability of cricket balls that are
used in Australian cricket at different grades of cricket. To do this we had to
create a set or minimum standard for which cricket balls could be tested
against so that Cricket Australia could eventually accredit balls to be used
across different grades of cricket. Balls are tested by measuring the size, the spericity of the ball, the colour and it’s bounce property. We’re measuring a force
of almost 1600 kilograms which occurs in a period of less than one second so in
this case the ball deforms by over 1 centimeter during that time period. At
the heart of the test is a wear test where we impact the balls against
surfaces that reflect the impact with the pitch as well as the bat, and we do
that for a large number of impacts. This is our wear test apparatus so it
consists of the climatic cannon which has an automatic loading mechanism. Balls
are fired out of the cannon and impact the wear surface here and here. The two
surfaces represent the impact with the pitch as well as the impact with the bat. This
is what a typical ball would look like after our wear testing procedure. We
look for blemishes in the leather itself, any of the stitching that’s come away or
any parting of the stitching that occurs across the ball and we also do a
three-dimensional scan of the ball to be able to look at how perfectly circular
these balls are before and after the wear testing procedure. With these kinds
of initiatives partnerships are critical and and with someone like The University
of Queensland they’re bringing a huge amount of expertise to the table and so
we’re able to have a really robust and independent process. The new standard
that we’ve created will help to ensure consistency across different ball
manufacturers and help to ensure different cricketing clubs and
cricketing club associations that they are using a ball which is
fit for their standard of cricket

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