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Australia's Sheffield Shield to trial new Kookaburra ball

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – Australia’s domestic cricketers will trial a “refined” version of the red Kookaburra ball during two rounds of this season’s Sheffield Shield, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Wednesday.

CA said the difference between the old ball and the new one was an updated lining of the leather designed to increase the resilience of the seam.

“In time, we would like to see this ball being considered for future first class cricket in Australia,” Peter Roach, the head of cricket operations at CA, said in a statement.

“After an extensive process of testing in the laboratory, training and match conditions, we are confident that given good pitch and weather conditions the refined turf ball will stay harder for longer, and produce more swing for longer periods.”

The new ball, designed in response to off-season feedback from players, coaches and officials, will be used in rounds five and six of the Sheffield Shield starting on Nov. 29.

Players will then use the British-made Dukes ball as they have done in the last three seasons after Christmas.

England pace bowler Jofra Archer said earlier this month he had found it difficult to adjust to the Kookaburra ball ahead of the first test in New Zealand, having used the Dukes ball during the Ashes series in England.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)