Pink cricket balls may revolutionize the way the game is being played © Getty Images
Pink cricket balls may revolutionize the way the game is being played © Getty Images

 

Feb 25, 2014

 

If reports are to be true then cricket in Australia will see the use of pink balls if Cricket Australia (CA) has its way, which may prove to be a ground breaking innovation in the way the game is being played in the country.

 

Apparently the issue has been taken up by the Australian cricket authorities after Victoria’s Matthew Wade suggested the use of pink balls in the Sheffield Shield’s Day-Night matches thanks to his problem of colour-blindness which has hampered him a lot during his career, reported the canberratimes.

 

CA are experimenting by playing a round of Shield games in the night and the officials are also hoping for a day-night Test match to be played against New Zealand in 2015-16.

 

The timings of the night games are 2pm to 9pm in Melbourne and Adelaide and the balls used will be pink Kookaburra’s with black sight screens also to be implemented during the games.

 

The CA feels that the pink balls will prove to be a blessing in disguise for players like Wade who have sight issues and also maintained that it can also revolutionise the game in the near future.

 

“Throughout our planning for day-night shield cricket, we’ve sought advice from a number of experts, including optometrists, on the visibility of the pink ball,” said a CA spokesperson.

 

“The advice we’ve received to date is that there isn’t any reason why a player with normal colour blindness would have any more difficulty seeing a pink ball compared to a red ball given its lighter colour and higher luminosity,” added the spokesperson.

 

But Australian Test batsman Chris Rogers who has a similar problem like Wade believes that the idea won’t work out since he could not see the pink ball clearly during a game for Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in floodlights at Abu Dhabi.

 

“Matthew Wade is someone [who has] had some tests with it [pink ball],”said Cricket Victoria’s operations manager Shaun Graf.

 

“From what he tells me it’s not so much not seeing it, it’s the contrast with the background that gives it a blurred effect. He had a hit with it [the pink ball] in daylight and it was OK, but once it comes to dusk … it then becomes interesting,” added Graf.

 

When queried about Wade’s unique problem Graf replied,” ‘If it becomes difficult for him [at training on Thursday], we would have to talk to Cricket Australia, because it’s a unique situation if you’ve got a player who can’t see the ball because of the colour.”

 

Every state team in the Sheffield Shield has been sent pink balls for their regular practice sessions with the hopes of the new idea materializing into a reality.

 

Past history shows that players have been successful with balls of different colours the most notable being former Australian cricketer Dean Jones slamming a 324 not-out against South Africa when yellow balls were being tried in the mid 1990s.

 

The most interesting fact will be as to how the pink ball behaves during the day-night matches as the Australian cricket authorities will watch with bated breath.

 

“All teams have got the same situation and whoever adapts best … but, round nine in shield cricket – interesting timing,” said South Australia coach Darren Berry who is a staunch backer of the idea.

 

“If we’re going to experiment with anything, do it earlier rather than late. But both teams have got to do it. What we are going to get, I can’t tell you … no one really knows,” added Berry who feels that the idea should have been implemented a bit too early in the season.

 

The idea has also found backing from CA chief executive James Sutherland and also former Indian player Rahul Dravid who has urged the authorities to “give it a try, keep an open mind”.