Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Virat Kohli © Getty Images

Top Indian cricketers are expected to play with the pink ball in Duleep Trophy, as India has joined the brigade of the Test-playing nations who want to play day-night games. In order to prepare themselves well, BCCI President Anurag Thakur confirmed that top Indian cricketers will play in the Duleep Trophy which will be played with a pink ball. This puts an end to the speculations about a mini-IPL being hosted later in the year came to an end recently. The initiative will help decide the future of pink ball cricket in India, keeping in mind the India’s Test match against New Zealand in the month of October. Not only that it will also give Indian players some valuable practice with the pink ball. Thakur not only informed about the availability of players, but also stressed on the feedback aspect that will help the board understand better about what players feel when playing with a pink ball. ALSO READ: Duleep Trophy to be played under lights?

Thakur said, “All players will be playing Duleep Trophy; that is why we have gone for day-night domestic cricket for first time. We want to know how the player feels, how the dew conditions will be. With top players playing we will get a good feedback,” as quoted by The Indian Express.

The Duleep Trophy with the initiative of pink ball cricket might just regain its lost value as it was also cancelled last season due to a busy calendar and some internal conflicts within the BCCI. The BCCI had although promised then that the tournament will be back, the first-ever Day-Night Test between Australia and New Zealand and the success of it, perhaps, was the spark that BCCI was looking for.

The BCCI, will be keeping a close eye on how things go when the Duleep Trophy gets underway as a dress rehearsal for India before the Test against New Zealand. Thakur said, “We will come to know what advantages and disadvantages are of playing with pink ball. Before jumping straight away in Tests cricket these top Indian players will be playing it in Duleep Trophy. We will make sure that top cricketers participate in Duleep Trophy,” Thakur said.

A number of Indian players had also supported the idea of Test Cricket with pink ball including Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. Kohli had said before Australia’s day night game against New Zealand that teams should be in for it. He said, “As cricketers we all should be willing and accepting of the fact that we need to step forward and contribute to the game however possible. If this is a step towards improving the excitement and the popularity of Test cricket, then I think every team should be in for it.” ALSO READ: Sheffield Shield: Pink cricket ball with black seam to be used

Also, last week in BCCI’s working committee meet, Thakur had stressed on the importance of focusing more on Test cricket. As the Indian team was heading into the T20 World Cup 2016, the BCCI had planned the calendar accordingly to help India prepare well for the event. Similarly, the BCCI wants to prepare a calendar focusing on Tests as India gets ready to play 13 Tests at home, after the four-Test tour in West Indies.

Meanwhile, the old inter-zonal format of the Duleep Trophy will be scrapped and instead this time, the tournament will feature four teams, picked by the national selectors, facing each other in a round-robin basis and each team will play atleast 3 games.