The England and Wales Cricket Board has decided to end a three-year experiment with the controversial Tiflex cricket balls in the second division of the County Championship.
The Tiflex balls were introduced in Division Two cricket only in 2009 but they have continued to divide opinion and have proved unpopular with players and coaches – though not seam bowlers.
A recent survey conducted by the Professional Cricketers’ Association found that the majority of players were dissatisfied with Tiflex balls, claiming that they seamed and swung excessively early in an innings.
The ECB board has now backed a recommendation from its cricket committee that Dukes-manufactured balls, which had been used in the first division of the County Championship, should be used in both divisions next season.
“It was felt that there was a need for consistency with the type of balls being used and that sides coming up from the second division should not have to get used to a different type of ball,” said an ECB spokesman.
Counties will still be permitted to use Tiflex-manufactured balls in the Second XI Championship where the type of ball used will be determined by the home county.
White Kookaburra balls will still be used in Friends Life t20 and Clydesdale Bank 40 matches despite the ECB conducting an inconclusive one-off trial with a white Tiflex ball in last month’s Warwickshire v Northamptonshire CB40 match at Edgbaston.