Blast-Off! ECB Sends Cricket Ball to the Edge of Space

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Blast-Off! ECB Sends Cricket Ball to the Edge of Space

London, May 16th 2014 – The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has sent a cricket ball to the edge of space for the first time ahead of the start of the NatWest T20 Blast competition.

To announce the start of the competition, which blasts-off today, the ECB worked with a team of aeronautical engineers to launch an official match ball from Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham, reaching a peak altitude of 110,000 feet, approximately three times the height at which a commercial airplane cruises.

The white ball, used in every game of this season’s NatWest T20 Blast competition, was attached to a helium balloon and endured temperatures of –54oC and pressure of 9.9mbar at peak altitude. During its freefall, the ball reached speeds of up to 500 mph before a parachute deployed and it travelled safely back to earth, landing in Newbury, Berkshire, in near-perfect condition.

The ball’s journey to its peak altitude was captured on video, creating some incredible footage of the ball’s ascension to where no ball has ever been before. You can view the video here:

David Collier,ECBChief Executive,said:“Ahead of the launch oftheNatWest T20 Blastseason, we wanted to do something that would reflect the competition’s excitingbrand of cricketandvibrant in-groundatmosphere.

“By sending a cricket ball to the edge of space, we’ve come up with an innovative idea which vividly illustratesour ownplansto make this summer’s NatWest T20 Blast competitiona truly memorable experience for cricket fans everywhere.”

For more information on NatWest T20 Blast, visit