Saturday, June 24th, 2023


Worcestershire pace bowler Joe Leach is looking forward to the challenge of bowling with a Kookaburra ball during the next two rounds of LV=Insurance County Championship matches beginning with the fixture against Derbyshire at New Road on Sunday (11am start).

Leach is the leading wicket-taker in Division Two with 32 scalps at the half-way stage of the 14-game programme and has once again performed to a consistent high standard with the customary Duke balls used in first class cricket in this country.

Now he is relishing the opportunity to test his skills with the Kookaburra which he has only encountered in the past when playing club cricket during the winter in Australia and New Zealand.

Leach said: “I’m quite open to it. They are harder from a bowlers’ point of view but I’m quite looking forward to seeing what it is like.

“Bowlers of my style have always had the criticism landed at their feet that they can only take wickets with Dukes balls on green seamers in England which I think is an unfair criticism.

“I’m really looking forward to having a go with a Kookaburra ball and seeing whether that is true or not! Bring it on.

“The vast majority of places use Kookaburra balls. I don’t see the harm in trying it for a couple of rounds.

“It is good experience for the bowlers and the batters. Who knows until we play a couple of rounds what the reaction will be.

“Two or three years ago we had the day-night stuff (with a pink ball) and everyone thought it was going to be really low scores and certainly in the couple of games we played in, they were really high scoring

“Until you try these things, you don’t know. I’m all for trying to make the game better and let’s see what that brings.”

Leach added: “I’ve been abroad three times in the winter and bowled with a Kookaburra ball before, in Australia and New Zealand, albeit in club cricket.

“There is a difference, there is no doubt about that, but then there is a difference from the Birmingham Premier League dukes to the first class dukes.

“Different balls have different characteristics. Ultimately, bowling is a problem solving skill, and it’s just a different kind of problem is how I see it.”