Hedge Hogg balls out, Kookaburras in for WPCA premier league season

Cricket balls.

The decision to utilise only Hedge Hogg balls during the 2016-17 Western Province Cricket Association premier league season has been reversed.

The 2015-16 campaign saw the 10 premier league clubs allocated Hedge Hogg balls and, if they could afford it, clubs were allowed to replace the Hedge Hogg balls with superior Kookaburra ‘Match’ balls.

Representatives from the 10 premier league clubs – including Primrose Cricket Club, Western Province Cricket Club, Cape Town Cricket Club, Bellville Cricket Club, St Augustine Cricket Club, Durbanville Cricket Club, Rondebosch Cricket Club and the University of the Western Cape Cricket Club – were invited to formally comment on the quality of the Hedge Hogg balls earlier this year.

Criticism of the stitching ensued, after which a ball – with a raised seam – was presented. A decision, supported by most, that all clubs use Hedge Hogg balls – and none be allowed to replace with Kookaburra counterparts – during the 2016-17 premier league season was soon reached.

However, that resolution has since been overturned.

“It became clear to us that the preferred ball was the Kookaburra and a decision was made that whatever ball was agreed upon, all teams in the premier league must use it,” WPCA amateur cricket manager Clinton du Preez told Club Cricket SA this week.

“Taking into consideration the cost difference and also the general feeling between the premier league Clubs, a reshuffle of the budget had to be put in place to ensure that we could accommodate the purchase of the balls. .

“This is in the best interest of the players and premier league cricket in general. We will always try make decisions in the best interest of cricket, taking into consideration factors which impact on budget and quality. I am happy we could resolve the matter of the usage of balls in the premier league and looking forward to another exciting season.

“The Hedge Hogg balls will be used in the Grand Challenge Cup and Ama20 Competition. We will follow this process for the 2016-17 season – and a review will be done at the end of the season.”

Ottoman Cricket Club and Claremont Cricket Club have been promoted to the premier league on the back of successful 2015-16 first division A campaigns, while Victoria Cricket Club and United Cricket Club have been relegated after finishing in ninth and 10th position, respectively.