A tape ball is actually a rubber ball covered in electrical tape and used extensively in playing cricket. While this modification of a normal tennis ball makes it even more powerful, slower and farther than the normal cricket ball, it also gives it better weight, pace and distance. The game of Cricket requires players to be agile and quick on their feet to run from one end of a field to the other within the time allowed. With the help of a good running gear and a flexible cricket bat, players have the required speed and agility to run fast and chase down the ball in search tickets.
The first known use of a tape ball was seen in 1820 in the England Vs India International match at the athletics stadium at Leytonstone. The game was slow due to heavy footfalls from both sides. But after a while, the players realized that they could make use of their speed more effectively and hence played the match on an even footing. Soon, it was followed by the usage of hard balls made out of wood to provide a bit more power to the players.
Pakistan cricket team became the first to use a tape ball cricket in a match when they were playing against the West Indies in the early nineteen eighties. However, this form of cricket did not take off in the same way as it did in England. It was only when a player from the West Indies, Prince William, brought the ball with him that the practice of batting on a hard ball gained popularity in Pakistan.
Hard ball cricket in Pakistan has also been followed by some local cricketers who specialized in batting on a tape ball. This has however given a bad name to the game in the country. Some people even brand the game as “pitch boarding” owing to the excessive action on the field, that goes on for over three hours.
Hard ball cricket is fast emerging as a favorite among the younger generation in Pakistan. Many young cricketers in the county of Punjab are now switching from using the traditional hard ball to making use of a tape ball. This has not only helped them develop their skills on the field, it has also helped them understand the game better. This is because, not many players in the country are well versed with the uses of a tape ball and the way it is played. This is why most of these young players are making use of tape balls during practice sessions.
There is another aspect of tape ball cricket rules that is drawing a lot of attention from fans as well as the players.
They are also making use of one bounce. The one-bounce rule is being introduced in the competition which is conducted between teams of the same nation. This is because playing two different matches with two different bounce rates is proving to be quite tiring for officials and the players.
Before discussing about the way in which these balls are used, we need to discuss the way in which officials determine the number of balls per side. Officials usually take into consideration the number of overs played and then the number of bowlers available on each side. If there are almost always more bowlers than batsmen on a side, then no extra bowlers will be allowed in the match. This rule is almost always followed while playing a tape ball cricket match.
A lot of discussion has been going on about the number of runs scored in a particular match. Well, technically this is not the question that should be asked. What matters more is whether a batsman can hit a tape ball, hit an outfield and run to mid wicket before being caught by his team-mate. Although the runs matter a lot, the actual ability of a batsman to hit a tape ball that travels half the distance of a cricket ground in a single go is what counts the most.
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