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    PCB criticised for using sub-standard balls

    Lahore: The PCB has come in for criticism for using locally manufactured balls in domestic cricket, which is being blamed by the players and experts as the cause for frequent injuries and for affecting the standard. The negative aspects of the locally manufactured Grays cricket ball have been highlighted, specifically during the ongoing National Super Eights T20 championship.

    Injuries while fielding in the tournament have already hit Pakistan's pacer Umar Gul and two players from the Sialkot side besides others. "It is not easy fielding with this ball as it is very hard," one of the injured players said. "The quality of the Grays ball is not very good. The seam is big, and [the] cork used and the sides are very hard, causing problems," former Test player Basit Ali said.

    The Grays balls were made mandatory for use in domestic cricket by the PCB some two years ago during the tenure of Ijaz Butt as chairman. Now there are allegations that the board had changed the cricket balls used in domestic cricket because the Grays ball is manufactured by a company in Sialkot, run by close associates of the former chairman.
    "In the past, the board used original Kookaburra cricket balls in domestic cricket, which are a little expensive but more useful for the players as the same balls are used in international cricket and in ICC tournaments," a player taking part in the Super Eights event said.

    So far the board has turned a deaf ear to the complaints as insiders say it relies on the Grays balls because of their cost-effectiveness.