Cricket is considered as gentleman’s game and has become a very interesting with each innovations, including limited over cricket, then T-20, World Series Cricket, use of third umpires, Referred decision, bigger bats, covered pitches, etc. The latest is the Day-night Test with the pink ball, making the Indian début in the Kolkata’s famed Eden garden.
The iconic stadium of Kolkata’s Eden Gardens saw the new format make its debut in the Cricket Association of Bengal super league final between Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore. The match was played on June 17th. This Indian domestic inter-club match was a four day affair and was India’s first multiday game with the pink ball. It was the interclub final hosted by cricket association of Bengal, headed by former Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly.
Traditionally, the cricket ball was red, allowing batsmen and fielders to see the ball. As pressure on Test cricket has increased due to the popularity of T20, authorities had been moving towards the idea of a trial day-night Test match. To this end, versions of pink balls had been trailed as far back as 2008, in a Queensland Women v Western Australia Women match in Brisbane.
Umpire Premdip Chatterjee said he was “really surprised”. “I never expected the ball will remain so firm. It was perfectly visible. The seam remained intact,” said Chatterjee. Bhowanipore left arm pacer Geet Puri got two wickets and also discovered a vital difference between the pink and the red ball. "In the red ball, we can keep the shine on one side. But that I think is not possible with the pink one and so I feel it won't have reverse swing", said the fast bowler.
Brett Elliot, group managing director of Kookaburra Sport, the manufacturer of the pink ball, says, "We have already opened a factory in Meerut where we are working on balls suitable for subcontinent conditions. The experience of this match will be handy for us".
The success of the experiment is expected to have a bearing on efforts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to host a day-night pink ball Test against New Zealand in October.
Time has come to see the change and with new technology and innovative effects, the change is expected to attract huge crowds, in what could also boost the struggling five-day format.