How to Look After a Cricket Ball to Make it Swing: Your Print and Keep Guide | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to Look After a Cricket Ball to Make it Swing: Your Print and Keep Guide

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Swing is such a powerful weapon, yet there is a clear trend in the game away from keeping the ball shiny.

We know so much more about the science of swing than we did 10 years ago, but traditions from the old days remain, keeping the ball straight as an arrow when it could be hooping round corners. This simple guide will help you and your team get more of the latter:

Click here for the high quality pdf version.

Do with it what you will. Print it and put it in the clubhouse. Hand it out to players. email it to your colts section. The choice is yours, as long as the cricket ball is better cared-for.

Let's take back something from the batsman's game.

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And keep the ball away from the batsmen Smiling. They don't understand why us fast men like to have a dry cricket ball!

This is a particular bug bear of mine. Keep the ball away from the batsmen, the spinners, the trundlers; do not roll it on the ground...just look after it!

But I do wonder about some of the new orthodoxies.

For 30 years and more I have polished the ball with "sweat from the brow"; the ball gets shinier, and then it swings.

I have also tried the "high friction" technique (rubbing the ball very fast - not circular - until the ball becomes hot) and that can also work well with bare leather (less so with coated/lacquered/varnished balls).

Does the advice to keep the ball dry apply only if you are ultimately hoping for reverse swing? Or to particular grades of ball and particular surface finishes?

How important is the circular polishing motion?

I can see a research programme, here...

Hi - this article caught my interest as I like to try and in-swing the ball as part of my slow-left-arm bowling.

Concerning the comment "keep spit off the ball" what do you suggest instead? Sweat from the forehead?

Thanks for any comments!

I'm not sure why but from what I've been told when you make the ball wet you take away its ability to swing. However, I don't think a small amount of spit will effect swing on the ball in my experiences.