An animal rights group has called for the ban of leather balls by the 2015 cricket World Cup and urged the head of global cricket to "step up to bat for animals and the environment".
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) group has written to International Cricket Council president Sharad Pawar asking him to abandon traditional red leather and use balls made out of synthetic materials.
"As the so-called "Gentleman's game," cricket should be gentle on animals and the environment by making the switch to synthetic balls. You are in a unique position to create a change that would alleviate massive suffering and destruction," PETA official Poorva Joshipura wrote in the letter.
PETA said cows underwent unnecessary suffering during the slaughter process and that leather tanning involved large amounts of toxic chemicals that poisoned water.
The ball in cricket takes on a greater significance than it does in other sports as the same ball must be used for at least eighty overs in Test match.
A ball used at top class level usually takes around 75 days to make and typically retails at around £70.
Cricket has always used leather balls in its sport including in the first recognised Test match between England and Australia back in 1877.
Eurosport / Reuters
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