Cowan favours Dukes over Kookaburra

Retiring Test cricketer Ed Cowan urged CA to persevere with the Dukes ball in all forms of the game.
Retiring Test cricketer Ed Cowan urged CA to persevere with the Dukes ball in all forms of the game.

Thought-provoking to the end, retiring cricketer Ed Cowan has urged Cricket Australia to use the Dukes ball rather than the Kookaburra.

Cowan on Wednesday announced his immediate retirement form professional cricket, though he will continue to play for his club Sydney University.

The 18-Test opener has earned a reputation for being one of the most intelligent and insightful players in Australia, frequently giving interesting observations and opinions.

Cowan called on CA to persevere with the Dukes ball, which was used instead of the Kookaburra, when the Sheffield Shield resumed after the BBL.

Batsmen struggled to score the volume of runs they did against the Kookaburra before the break and Cowan felt it made for more even contests between bat and ball.

"I think Dukes balls should be used in all cricket in Australia," Cowan said.

"If I were an administrator working at Cricket Australia, I would be looking firmly at Dukes cricket balls for Test cricket in Australia.

"I think we've just seen better games of cricket generally. We see the ball moving for longer, we see the spinners in the game, a bit more even contest.

"Unfortunately the way Test wicket in Australia have been the last couple of years we need to see a bit more of an even contest, so I think that ball would help."'

He described David Warner's spat with South African wicketkeeper as ugly and something he didn't want to see in the game.

While he frustrated many a bowler with his capacity to play a long innings. Cowan couldn't recall too many instances of being on the end of too many vitriolic sledges.

"I probably only saw the line crossed one or twice and made it known that I thought the line had been crossed at the time," he said.

He also rated Indian offspinner Ravi Ashwin and South African speedster Morne Morkel as the toughest bowlers he'd faced.

"Ravi Ashwin used to do me like a dinner pretty much every time I played him," Cowan said.

Cowan wasn't concerned about the Sheffield Shield being shoehorned into blocks of weeks at the beginning and end of the season.

"Maybe from the outside it might feel as though it's been devalued but the people inside the changing rooms are trying to win those games, just as hard, if not more, then when I first started playing professional cricket," he said.

"I think the game is in a really good place and a better place now than when I started, there's no doubt about that."

Australian Associated Press