A cricket ball is a hard, solid ball used to play cricket. A cricket ball consists of cork covered by leather, and manufacture is regulated by cricket law at first-class level. The manipulation of a cricket ball, through employment of its various physical properties, is a staple component of bowling and dismissing batsmen. Movement in the air, and off the ground, is influenced by the condition of the ball, the efforts of the bowler and the pitch, while working on the cricket ball to obtain optimum condition is a key role of the fielding side. The cricket ball is the principal manner through which the batsman scores runs, by manipulating the ball into a position where it would be safe to take a run, or by directing the ball through or over the boundary.
White balls were introduced when one-day matches began being played at night under floodlights, as they are more visible at night; all professional one-day matches are now played with white balls, even when they are not played at night. The white balls have been found to behave differently to the red balls, most notably that they swing a lot more during the first half of an innings than the red ball, and that they deteriorate more quickly.