British Cricket Balls Ltd

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A Dukes cricket ball

British Cricket Balls Ltd is a British sports equipment company, specialising in cricket equipment. The company notably manufactures the Dukes brand[1] of cricket ball used by the England cricket team in UK Test cricket, and which traces its origins to 1760.[2]


The Duke family began manufacturing cricket balls as a cottage industry at Redleaf Hill, Penshurst, Kent, England, around 1760 and continuing until 1841.[3] Having gained the Royal patent for their cricket balls in 1775,[3] Duke & Son made the first-ever six-seam cricket ball, which was presented to the then Prince of Wales and used for the 1780 English cricket season.[4] In 1851, their triple-sewn ball won a prize medal at the Great Exhibition.[5] And in 1881, another Dukes ball won a gold medal at the Melbourne International Exhibition.[2]

In 1920, Duke & Son merged with John Wisden & Co,[6] a manufacturer of cricket bats.[7]

In 1999, the company introduced the controversial white ball for that year's Cricket World Cup.[8][9]

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