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Cricket Ball Vs Baseball – 11 Key Differences

Cricket and baseball share some similarities as bat and ball sports. But the balls used in each sport vary greatly when it comes to size, weight, materials, construction, and performance.

Here are 11 ways cricket balls and baseballs differ:

  • Size – Baseball larger
  • Weight – Cricket ball heavier
  • Seams – Baseball raised, cricket stitched
  • Covers – Baseball leather, cricket cork
  • Cores – Baseball rubber/cork, cricket cork
  • Hitting – Baseball hit with round bat, cricket flat bat
  • Pitching – Baseball overhand, cricket underarm
  • Conditioning – Baseball rubbed with mud, cricket shined
  • Life Span – Baseball rarely replaced, cricket balls changed frequently
  • Moisture – Baseball avoids water, cricket handles moisture
  • Aerodynamics – Baseball distance, cricket swing

Let’s explore these differences in more detail!

Four baseballs lying in the grass

Difference in Size

One clear difference is the size. Baseballs are larger, measuring between 2.85 to 3 inches in diameter. This gives batters a big sweet spot for contact.

Cricket balls are smaller, typically between 2.5 to 2.7 inches across. The compact size requires greater precision when bowling and batting.

The larger baseball is easier for bat-to-ball contact, while the smaller cricket ball demands dedicated skill.

Difference in Weight

In addition to size, the weight also differs considerably:

  • Baseballs weigh just 5 ounces on average, allowing fast pitching and hitting speed.
  • Cricket balls weigh between 5.5 to 5.75 ounces, over 10% heavier than a baseball. This makes cricket bowling more physically demanding.

The heavier cricket ball packs more momentum into the batter on impact. Baseball’s lighter weight enables faster motion.

Difference in Seams

These two spherical balls vary in their seam construction:

  • Baseballs have raised red cotton stitching that disrupts airflow for pitches that curve and dip. The seams are tightly cross-stitched.
  • Cricket balls have prominent stitched seams around the equator that help reverse swing bowling to curve back. The seams join the cork hemispheres.

The baseball’s raised seams assist pitcher breaking balls. Cricket’s flatter seams aid swing manipulation by bowlers.

Difference in Covers

The exterior covers use different materials:

  • Baseballs are covered in white leather or cowhide, usually ox or buffalo hide. The surface is rubbed with special mud to remove gloss.
  • Cricket balls have a covering made from cork, providing durability for the entire innings. The cork shell is layered with string bindings.

Leather gives baseballs flexibility for pitches and contact. Cricket’s cork cover enables high speed bowling over many overs.

Difference in Cores

Under those covers, the cores also contrast:

  • Baseballs have a cork and rubber pill center, allowing some rebound and energy transfer during contact.
  • Cricket balls have a cork interior, soaked in latex glue that bonds the cork pieces under pressure. This provides hardness while gripping the inside seam stitching.

The materials produce the desired performance – baseball wants some bounce, cricket needs hardness for fast bowling.

Difference in Hitting

The bats used in each sport influence ball striking:

  • Baseball bats are round and blunt, optimized for power hitting and ball deflection speed.
  • Cricket bats have a flat, paddle-like face to drive through the ball and place shots precisely.

The baseball bat’s shape lends itself to pure power driving balls at speed. The cricket bat’s flat face provides control for targeting shots.

Difference in Pitching

Baseball and cricket balls are delivered very differently:

  • Baseball pitching involves an overhand throw, allowing hurlers to generate speed and ball movement by snapping their wrist and arm.
  • Cricket bowlers deliver the ball underarm, bending their elbow to generate pace from an upright, straight-armed position.

Baseball’s overhand pitching creates wild movement. Cricket’s underarm bowling produces lightning pace through the crease.

Difference in Conditioning

Preparing the balls for play varies as well:

  • Baseballs are rubbed with Delaware River mud to remove sheen, provide tackiness, and help pitchers grip the ball seams.
  • Cricket balls are diligently shined and polished on one hemisphere to create differences in surface roughness between sides. This aids swing bowling.

Baseball mud helps ball handling and control. Cricket shine creates ball variance that makes the ball swing.

Difference in Life Span

Durability and usage periods contrast between the sports too:

  • Baseballs can last months or longer, only being swapped once hitting deteriorates. Mud helps the leather endure countless pitches.
  • Cricket balls must be replaced every 75-90 pitches as hitting breaks down the cork cover and alters the ball’s shape and luster.

Baseballs get broken in slowly with play, while cricket balls only last one innings before replacement.

Moisture Differences

Moisture greatly affects each ball:

  • Baseballs perform terribly when wet, becoming heavy, slick and tough to control. The slightest dampness takes balls out of play.
  • Cricket balls hold up reasonably well when wet. Dampness makes the ball tougher for bowlers to grip, but fielders can dry it by rubbing vigorously on their pants.

Moisture stops baseball cold. Cricket balls handle dampness much better thanks to the cork shell.

Aerodynamic Differences

Finally, the ball flight varies between sports:

  • Baseballs are engineered for distance – players want maximum carry from hits and minimal drag for pitched balls.
  • Cricket balls are designed to produce swing – an unpredictable curved path that confuses batters. Seam orientation during release enables swing.

Baseball focuses on speed and direct flight while cricket crafts sideways movement from bowlers exploiting seam position and ball roughness.

Best Ball Brands

Top baseball manufacturers include Rawlings, Wilson and Mizuno:

  • Rawlings Official MLB Baseballs – #1 baseball in the pros. MLB authentic. Retains shape and tackiness. True hops.
  • Wilson A1010 – Affordable grade balls with cork/rubber centers. Great training ball durability.
  • Mizuno Professional – Hand-rolled Japanese leather for responsive feel. Very consistent sizes.

Leading cricket ball companies are Kookaburra, Dukes and Gray-Nicolls:

  • Kookaburra Turf Regulation Ball – Trusted by international cricketers for decades. Hand-stitched.
  • Dukes Cricket Ball – English willow coated. Test match grade. Outstanding seam integrity.
  • Gray-Nicolls Atomic – Computer-aided precision molded. Extended hardness and sheen.

Their pro-grade balls perform superbly for serious players.

Storage and Maintenance

To maximize ball life:


  • Store at room temp away from direct heat or cold.
  • Keep in humidity-controlled space to avoid drying or cracking.
  • Rotate practice balls often to distribute wear. Discard balls with big dents or seam damage.

Cricket Balls

  • Each ball is used for one innings then replaced. But store appropriately between matches.
  • Keep balls in leather ball containers at normal room conditions. Never freeze or overheat balls.
  • Return unused balls to containers; avoid moisture or abrasions which alter swing.

With some care, balls maintain quality for the best play.

Old Balls vs New Balls

There are not major gaps in materials or quality between old and new cricket/baseballs today. But newer balls offer minor advantages:

  • Computer precision in manufacturing provides improved consistency in size, shape and weight.
  • Modern materials are more durable. Leather conditioning resists cracking.
  • Factory sheen and gloss lasts longer before requiring resurfacing.

So enjoy that classic baseball glove smell of oiled leather but use fresh balls! Better performance and less elbow strain.