Duke ball and English conditions ideal for seamers: Butt

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/salmanbutt_afp.jpg' class='caption'> Pakistan seamers are more successful in England because they are comfortable bowling with the Duke ball and the English conditions, feels Salman Butt.

Updated: July 26, 2010 16:22 IST
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Pakistan seamers are more successful in England because they are comfortable bowling with the Duke cricket ball and the conditions here also suit them, feels skipper Salman Butt.

"Definitely since it rains throughout the year in England, the pitches have moisture and remain soft and these conditions are ideal for our seam bowlers," Butt said from Nottingham today.

The young Pakistan skipper, who led his team to a historic Test win over Australia after 15-years, said Duke ball was used keeping in mind the English conditions.

"Our bowlers are more comfortable bowling with the Duke ball and the conditions also suit them which is they are more successful in England," Butt added.

Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, who is settled in England, also agreed to Butt.

"There is more bounce, movement and turn on English pitches that is why bowlers dominate in general terms. In the past also whenever Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis played in England they used to cause havoc with the ball," Saqlain said.

Cricket experts have put the success of the Pakistani pace bowlers in England to the fact that they also use the Duke and Gray's cricket balls in domestic cricket and are more comfortable bowling with it than the Kookaburra ball normally used in many countries.

Saqlain said the use of the Duke cricket ball made a big difference as because of its prominent seam it gave more swing and seam movement to the bowlers.

Interestingly, Saqlain and former Pakistan Test leg-spinner, Abdul Qadir both felt that the International Cricket Council should have a law that all countries use the same brand of cricket ball in international matches.

"When there is uniformity in the cricket ball used in international matches it would mean that no team will get extra advantage," Saqlain stated.

Qadir said that compared to the Kookaburra ball, which had a less prominent seam and soft leather the Duke ball had a hard leather and more heightened seam which helped the bowlers.

"While I am happy our bowlers are doing well in England but definitely for cricket in general it would not be a bad idea if instead of using different brands, the same brand was used for all international matches," Qadir said.

Qadir said the ICC should also look at the possibility of having teams use the same brand of cricket balls in their countries.

Former captain Moin Khan also said compared to the Kookaburra ball which had less seam, the Duke brand was more suitable for the Pakistani bowlers.

"The Duke ball tends to do a lot more in English conditions," he noted.

But the former wicketkeeper insisted that a lot also depended on how well the bowlers used the conditions.

"While the cricket ball is a help but at the end of the day it is how well a bowler exploits the conditions that matters," he added.

Former Test pacer Sarfaraz Nawaz also agreed that since Pakistani bowlers had played more with the Duke ball it enabled them to use it more effectively.

"There is no doubt that the Duke ball is a better cricket ball than the Kookaburra brand for bowlers because there is more swing when the shine is on and bowlers can also reverse swing it when it gets old," Nawaz said. 

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