This post was first published on 3rd March 2011.
Every cricket fan around the world must be enjoying cricket’s biggest festival – World Cup 2011. If we look at the cricket calendar, we come to know that the number of cricket matches played nowadays has increased staggeringly. Cricket is played throughout the year in different forms i.e. Test, ODI, 20-20 and so on. Due to this some of the cricket tournaments have to be scheduled during monsoon time as well. Rain has always been an invincible force against cricket game. Cricket is considered as a religion in India having vast followers, and any washout of a cricket match results in a pandemonium among the cricket crazy fans.
In earlier days, cricket boards didn’t have any way to confront rain. Rain interrupted matches always resulted in a waste of time. In order to compensate the time, various methods were employed which were not fair. One of such methods known as “The best scoring method” was used in the 1992 world cup in which South Africa needed achievable 22 runs from 13 balls when rain interrupted the match. Later, the score was revised and South Africa required 21 runs from just one ball which was unfair. This resulted in the introduction of Duckworth-Louis (D/L) method. Since then, cricket boards have been trying various techniques to overcome this gainsay. e.g. Batting pitch is protected by covering it during rain, Super soaker is used in drying the outfield and Telstra Dome – the indoor stadium built in Australia.
The biggest problem while playing cricket in rain is with the ball. The ball soaks the water and becomes soft. Later, it loses its shape, which prevents the play of cricket in rain. I found an invention which can help to overcome this problem. George William Beldam was granted patent (US1624822) for “Cricket, hockey and like ball”. The patent discloses a method to ensure that the balls do not lose their quality even in wet conditions. In this, the core is made of soft material and is enclosed inside an outer covering of material like gutta-percha, balata or rubber. Normally, the core is enclosed inside a leather covering. Outer cover in two spherical shapes are pressed very hard on the core along with firm adhesive or amalgamation of the core and appropriate heat and pressure are applied to mold outer cover with inner core. This results into imperviousness to wet balls which would last long in harsh conditions without losing shape and it’s playing qualities.
I think this invention could be another treasure in many sports especially cricket and I hope ICC world cup 2011 will provide uninterrupted entertainment to every fan.
Authored by Sanjiv Sharan.
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