The BCCI’s decision to go back to using the white SG ball for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (Zonal T20 Tournament) has apparently not gone down well with the players who are participating in the tournament.
After switching from Kookaburra Regular to Kookaburra Turf ball for all limited-overs tournaments in December 2015, the move to bring back the SG ball is bound to raise eyebrows. The Kookaburra Turf ball is used in international and IPL matches and was originally brought in so as to provide the Indian domestic players a feel of what was being used at the highest level.
The current variety of the white SG ball doesn’t seem to have gone down too well with the seasoned domestic players who are plying their trade in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which has been wisely pre-poned keeping the upcoming IPL auctions in mind.
An India player made his discontent with the decision clear, and said,
“I don’t know why they are using this ball. This doesn’t feel right at all. If the ODIs and T20Is at home are played with the Kookaburra Turf balls, it makes little sense to play with these balls in domestic T20.”
Some other domestic players also explained that the SG ball is hard like marbles, which doesn’t travel off the bat as well as the Kookaburra Turf balls do.
“The seam is a lot more pronounced. The balls is taking a lot more turn and if the morning pitch has some assistance, it moves a lot more than usual,” a player further elaborated.
With the quality of the SG ball which is used in home Tests and first-class matches also coming under scrutiny in recent times, a BCCI official said,
“This is a newly upgraded variety of the SG white ball. It is being tested for the first time in this tournament.”
The decision to bring back the white SG balls is not the only change that has taken place in the zonal T20 league this year, with the BCCI also ditching the previously used zone format in the knockout stages of the tournament.