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Cricket Ball Physical Specifications Rooted in MCC’s Laws of Cricket

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)has been the custodian of the Laws of Cricket since the Club’s formation in 1787.  As such, the MCC will publish 2000 Code 3rd Edition – 2008 which will become effective 1 October 2008.  This version of the Laws of Cricket remains unchanged regarding the specifications for the ball.  Other cricket councils may issue rule changes based on this primary source.


Law 5. The Ball
1. Weight and size
The ball, when new, shall weigh not less than 5 1/2 ounces/155.9g, nor more than 5 3/4 ounces/163g, and shall measure not less than 8 13/16 in/22.4cm, nor more than 9 in/22.9cm in circumference.

2. Approval and control of balls
(a) All balls to be used in the match, having been approved by the umpires and captains, shall be in the possession of the umpires before the toss and shall remain under their control throughout the match.

(b) The umpire shall take possession of the ball in use at the fall of each wicket, at the start of any interval and at any interruption of play.

3. New ball
Unless an agreement to the contrary has been made before the match, either captain may demand a new ball at the start of each innings.

4. New ball in match of more than one day’s duration
In a match of more than one day’s duration, the captain of the fielding side may demand a new ball after the prescribed number of overs has been bowled with the old one. The Governing Body for cricket in the country concerned shall decide the number of overs applicable in that country, which shall not be less than 75 overs.
The umpires shall indicate to the batsmen and the scorers whenever a new ball is taken into play.

5. Ball lost or becoming unfit for play
If, during play, the ball cannot be found or recovered or the umpires agree that it has become unfit for play through normal use, the umpires shall replace it with a ball which has had wear comparable with that which the previous ball had received before the need for its replacement. When the ball is replaced the umpires shall inform the batsmen and the fielding captain.

6. Specifications
The specifications as described in 1 above shall apply to men’s cricket only. The following specifications will apply to

(i) Women’s cricket
Weight: from 4 15/16 ounces/140g to 5 5/16 ounces /151g
Circumference: from 8 1/4 in/21.0cm to 8 7/8 in/22.5cm

(ii) Junior cricket: under-13
Weight: from 4 11/16 ounces/133g to 5 1/16 ounces/144g
Circumference: from 8 1/16 in/20.5cm to 8 11/16 in/22.0cm

Marylebone Cricket Club – www.lords.org/mcc/
Law 5. The Ball – www.lords.org/mcc/laws-of-cricket/laws/law-5-the-ball/
Photo – www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2010/jul/06/county-cricket-live

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Sports Balls is a group of sports enthusiasts interested in the official specifications of balls used as sports equipment. As hobbyists, we are continually amazed at the level of detail used to accomplish fair play.

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