Cricket balls - What you need to know

Cricket bats may be the prized possession in our cricket kits, but they are useless without cricket balls. As cricket enthusiasts, we spend a lot of time cherry-picking a bat which fits our game perfectly, but it is also important to know about the balls that we need to put our blades into action. 

What are cricket balls made out of?

No, leather is not the straightforward answer you were looking for. A standard cricket ball is constructed from cork, leather and twine. While the outer covering of a cricket ball is made from leather, the inner layers are composed of cork (just below the covering), and twine (the secondary material below the cork). The core of a cricket ball is made from cork rubber, giving the ball its structure and bounce. The ball is stitched together through a six-layered seam, which is raised to provide the ball grip, spin and swing. 

What are the different types of cricket balls?

Cricket balls are normally distinguished on the basis of their construction, which can either be two-pieced or four-pieced. Professional cricket matches and tournaments use four-piece cricket balls. Two-pieced balls are easier to swing, as they are stitched with only two pieces of leather, which reduces air resistance whilst being bowled at high speeds. However, the use of lesser leather makes them susceptible to wear and tear quicker than four-pieced balls. Four pieces are stitched from four leather quadrants, making them harder to swing, but more durable, making them suitable for match use.

Both two-pieced and four-pieced cricket balls may be hand-stitched or machine-stitched. 

What are the prescribed weight and dimensions for cricket balls?

The Marylebone Cricket Club or MCC as it is popularly known, has been the maker and custodian of the Laws of Cricket, ever since its inception in 1787. Law 5 lays down the weight, and dimensions of cricket balls.

Weight: 155.9 grams - 163 grams

Circumference: 22.4 centimetres - 22.9 centimetres  

Which ball should you purchase?

The most reliable and popularly used cricket balls are made by three main cricket equipment manufacturers - Dukes, Kookaburra and SG. 


  • Dukes balls are manufactured in England and is used in test matches played in the UK and West Indies
  • Entirely handmade - all the six rows of seam are stitched by hand. Slightly darker in colour because grease is applied to protect it from water
  • Considered as the most bowler-friendly ball, generally assisting seam bowlers for longer periods 


  • Manufactured in Australia, the Kookaburra balls are the most widely used balls in the world for both international and first-class cricket
  • Only the center two rows of seam are hand stitched whilst the outer 2 rows are machine stitched hence the Kookaburra doesn’t have a pronounced seam compared to the other 2 balls
  • Kookaburra balls swings a lot during the first 20-25 overs 


  • SG balls are entirely handmade in Meerut and used in test matches played in India
  • More prominent seam made from thicker threads stitched closer together 
  • The best ball for spin bowling as it provides drift and grip off the pitch when ball lands on seam