Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A new spin on “In the Pink” or is it all just balls?

English cricket is known for its Test Match games lasting up to 5 days and the possibility of no conclusion on who won! Game breaks for afternoon tea with dainty sandwiches and cream cakes washed down with fine Darjeeling or Earl Gray tea. In more recent times the game has been propelled into the present day with team colours, one day match ups, and 20-20 night games (baseball style shootouts) under lights.

Now they plan to change the colour of the ball used in night games to PINK!!!!

In a former life in the early 1980’s I was in charge of the betting operation on the hallowed ground of Lords, the home of English cricket in North West London. I have had the privilege to view the famous Long Room but had to don a jacket and neck tie before I could be admitted! Tradition is important, it builds legacy, mystique and an alluring attractiveness like nothing else can. However, tradition cannot be a complete anchor to progress, otherwise everything will end in disaster and dust.

So I guess PINK it has to be in the name of progress. I wonder what baseball would say to the introduction of pink fast balls, pink sinkers and nasty pink curve balls?

David Carruthers 13th November 2007.

Pink balls set for one-day trials

The white ball used in one-day cricket could be replaced by a pink one if tests prove it is more durable.

A fluorescent ball could be adopted for one-day county cricket by 2009, and then across the international game.

The red ball lasts much longer, so the pink ball will not be used for Tests and four-day county games.

"It's about the quality of the ball and the fact the white one doesn't last 50 overs," a spokesman for the game's lawmakers, the MCC, told BBC Sport.

Interview: Yorkshire captain Darren Gough Interview: MCC's John Stephenson

But there is also the visibility factor to consider - white balls can be notoriously difficult for fielders and batsmen to see in certain light conditions.

The tests will be carried out in the nets at Lord's this winter and also in women's cricket in Australia.

In the summer of 2008, further trials will see the pink ball used in county second XI and university matches.

The MCC's head of cricket John Stephenson said: "Paint tends to flake off white balls. The challenge is to produce a ball which retains its colour.

"If the white ball is not working, let's look at another colour - and pink was a pretty good compromise.

"My aim would be to use the pink ball in Twenty20 cricket in 2009 and thereafter in one-day international cricket.

"But this will be dependent on trials and what the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] thinks."

Mike Gatting, the ECB's managing director of cricket partnerships, said: "We have tried white and orange balls and perhaps pink ones will last longer. This is a very interesting and a very wise development."

Traditional red balls used for Test and first-class cricket can last 80 overs before being replaced.

However, in one-day internationals a mandatory ball change is now enforced after 34 overs because the white titanium dioxide dye rubs off the leather.

Kookaburra, the Australian manufacturer charged with making the existing white balls, are also producing the pink ones to be used in the trial.

Former England bowler Darren Gough, now Yorkshire captain, explained the change in balls normally favours batsmen and gave his backing to the trial.

"There's nothing worse than having a ball changed just when you're getting a bit of rhythm, and the new one getting hit to all parts," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I can't imagine playing with a pink ball. If people had said when I started playing that we'd have pink balls I'd have said, 'No chance'.

"It's something we'll try and if they get a ball that stays the same colour, I'm all for it."

Story from BBC SPORT:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/sport2/hi/cricket/7092114.stmPublished: 2007/11/13 10:38:40 GMT

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