Stars open to trial of smaller ball in women's cricket
Nicola Carey discusses Sophie Devine's suggestion that a smaller ball could produce bigger hits and faster bowling in the women's game
12 June 2020, 11:48 AM AEST
Australian World Cup winner Nicola Carey has backed calls for a smaller ball to be trialled in women's cricket to see if it can produce more attacking and entertaining play.
New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine this week said using a smaller ball could make it easier for batters to hit it further, while bowlers could also be able to impart more pace and spin on a smaller ball.
Women's cricketers already use a ball that is slightly smaller and lighter compared to the one used in men's cricket, and Carey is open to a further reduction if it can help the women's game continue its recent growth in popularity.
"I think it'd certainly be something pretty cool to experiment with and see if there's actually a bit more merit to it," the allrounder said today.
"(Women's cricket) is in a pretty good spot at the moment, but I suppose there's always room for improvement. If people come up with cool ideas and they've got a bit of merit behind them and you've trialled them and they work, then why not?
"I think it's really cool that they’re talking about different things.
"Whether it comes into play or not is a different story. But it's good to see they're still thinking outside the box and trying to help the game be the best possible product it can be."
Speaking in the ICC's '100% innovation' webinar this week, Devine suggested a smaller and lighter ball could benefit both batters and bowlers.
"I reckon bowlers are going to be able to bowl the ball quicker, spinners are going to be able to turn the ball more," she said.
"Hopefully, the ball should fly a bit further as well, whereas you're still keeping the traditional length of the pitch. It's a very interesting one.
"If it's going to help the game flourish, I think: why not? Why would we not have a crack at it and see what happens? I think you've always got to have a bit of trial and error and see what works."
Another idea floated this week by India's Jemimah Rodrigues was introducing a shorter pitch for women's matches, but both Devine and Carey say they're happy for the playing surface to remain at the traditional 22 yards.
"As far as the shorter pitch goes, I'm not sure I want to be facing someone like Tay Vlaeminck on a shorter pitch than it is," Carey said. "It's already coming on pretty quick.
"I reckon I'd be pretty happy with the pitch to stay the same length."
Carey established herself as a regular member of Australia's best XI last summer, playing all but two of their 19 games since last September and making an impact during their World Cup win.
Despite opening the batting during the domestic season, the allrounder has batted at low as No.9 in the order at international level, picked primarily as a bowler behind a star-studded top order.
It's a role Carey is content to play for now, saying her batting hasn't suffered despite getting little chance to prove herself at the highest level.
"You can't do much about having Ellyse Perry and Midge (Alyssa Healy) batting ahead of you in the order," she said.
"Obviously I play a different role in the Aussie set-up than when I'm back in the domestic stuff. We've got a pretty ridiculous batting line-up for Australia so it's pretty hard to get up the order.
"But I get all my loads in and game time out in the middle during the Big Bash and WNCL ... so that holds you in good stead for when you go on tours.
"I feel fine in terms of how much batting I get in."