Go pink or go home

2012-09-08 15:53

Not since the days of World Series Cricket has cricket experienced the colour pink.

In those days, the West Indies were clad in pink bell-bottoms and tight-fitting tops.
 
Pink is now the new ball colour and its feasibility was put to the test in an unofficial four-day game in Potchefstroom this week.

The idea of a pink ball has already been tried in Dubai, Australia and Pakistan with varying degrees of success.

The latter two Test nations have had their problems with fast fading light.

The red ball is difficult to pick up with the white sightscreen when the lights are on.

South Africa, like most Test nations, also has problems with light.

Durban is the most notorious venue, with play opening at 10am rather than the 10.30 start of other Test grounds because of the fast fading light.

The Asian subcontinent, especially Pakistan, have long- standing problems with days shortened by darkness.

The subcontinent’s case is peculiar in that cricket, nominally a summer sport, has to be played during the winter months to avoid the searing summer heat and the monsoon rains which could wash out a full Test.

The flipside, though, is the loss of daylight hours.

North-West Dragon’s captain and leg-spinner Jimmy Kgamadi was not overly impressed with the quality of the pink ball, saying that it scuffed easily and fielders struggled to pick it up, especially during the transition from daylight to dusk.

“The pink ball was not bad but orange would be a better colour to use,” he said.

“Orange is the colour mostly used by rescue personnel, especially at sea as it is visible for most parts of the day, and the wear would be much less.”

The white ball is used for ODI’s, but due to its tendency to discolour easily, it was never going to be suitable for the longer version of the game.

Match referee Devdas Govindjee, who will report back to the International Cricket Council on the viability of the pink ball, said the ball did
not act differently to the white ball but its durability was an issue.

“Day one was a high scoring day and the ball was changed twice,” he said.

“The seam split in the first instance but as the scoring slowed, it was not changed that often.
 
“The grip on the ball was firm and there wasn’t any marked deterioration,” he said.


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