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Cricket/law 5 : the Ball


Respected Sir,

1) What things need to get in mind while considering the deterioration of the match ball ?

2) How to judge the after seeing the condition of the ball, whether its a tampering case or it was just the natural wear n tear of the ball (e.g it hits the fence or any hard object etc )

3) while changing the ball what things to consider for replacement? ( e.g dent , seam , surface , ball age etc. )

Mayur Wankhade.

I think experience is the answer to early question is experience.

Do keep looking at the ball regularly and you will see steady deterioration OR sudden change after big hit or landing on concrete.  Seam lifting should be obvious, rough one side, smooth the other is more difficult to detect.

When changing ball in most domestic games, it depends on what other balls are available!  Even in ECB Premier Leagues there is rarely more than two or three spares available.  Just try to choose nearest to old ball prior to damage.


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Colin Pearson


Cricket umpiring and scoring. I can answer questions on MCC Laws of Cricket but not ICC and other special regulations, which are frequently changing. I cannot answer questions on careers as a cricket umpiring. For details of courses, visit (anywhere that has advertised), (UK only)


I passed The Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers Full membership examinations in 1961 and have been an instructor since 1973, and examiner since 1977 and have undergone the first stage training as an Umpire Assessor for ECB Association of Cricket Officials. I was Chairman of Training Board for ACU&S from 1981 to 1997.

ECB Association of Cricket Officials British Computer Society Society of Expert Witnesses Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Rotary International

MA Hons Cantab 1966 DMS Part 1, 1975 Enterprise Reader (rtd), Staffordshire University)

Awards and Honors
Taylor Scholarship 1963 Life Vice President ACU&S 1998

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