A pink ball will be used for the first time in men’s international cricket when New Zealand and Australia play the first day night Test match in the final game of the series on Friday. Although this won’t be the first time that this Kookaburra product will be used by professional cricketers, there has been little to suggest that the players are on board with the idea.
Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood was quoted as saying, “It was a little bit tough to see for some of the fielders,” on a website. Not only is it tough to see the ball, but its condition also deteriorates much faster than the conventional red cherry, he added. “It doesn’t react anything like the red ball, in terms of swing and the hardness. It goes soft pretty quickly, I didn’t see a huge amount of reverse swing. It definitely reacts very, very differently to the red ball,” Mitchell Starc recently said.
Some have questioned why day night Test matches need to be introduced in the first place. “Let’s keep cricket the way cricket is supposed to be,” Kevin Pietersen told a website. When the New Zealand players first heard about the third Test match being played under lights, response from the players was not positive. “It’s like we are mice, being experimented on,” Kiwi batsman Kane Williamson said, rather perturbed.
The pink ball has frequently been used in Australian domestic cricket, but has found little support from the ranks. Some of the game’s former stars, including Ian and Greg Chappell, likened its impact to Kerry Packer’s World Series that saw ODI cricket make great strides and garner huge interest across the globe.
The need to have a new ball began in the first place because the red ball, for obvious reasons, is very tough to pick at night. The white one, on the other hand, loses its colour far too quickly to last 80 overs. The reason why ICC introduced two white balls for an ODI innings. A number of other colours – including yellow and orange – were experimented with but pink was unanimously picked.
Abrasive surfaces will mean a change of ball is needed frequently. Do not expect any reverse swing. Danger of getting hit due to difficulty in sighting the ball. Little spin under lights. Lack of enthusiasm from those in the middle.