As Eden Gardens is gearing up to host the country’s first pink ball multi-day cricket match, an expert panel comprising Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Dean Jones on Thursday have welcomed the latest innovation in test cricket.
The final of the Super League, a local tournament in Bengal to help identify players for the state’s Ranji Trophy team, is going to be played under lights from June 18 to 21.
The inaugural day-night Test match between New Zealand and Australia, held last year, was the first international game to use pink balls. The move was looked at as an experiment to revive the longer format of the game, which has seen its popularity decreasing steadily after the rise of T20.
Former Aussie batsman Jones, who did commentary in the first day/night Test between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval, said the era of the pink ball will make cricket an even contest.
“Now what we see is a bully type of a game and batsmen are having it too easy over the last decade,” Jones said during a panel discussion on ‘India’s first pink ball multi-day match’.
“But with the pink ball it would be an even contest, and I’m liking the thing here. I would like to see the ball swinging a little bit more.
“I would like to see the defensive skills of the batsmen. I think it will be a better game to watch. Pink ball is here to stay.”
A lot of players have expressed their concerns over the visibility of the pink ball. However,the Australian commentator said that a lot of research was being done on the kookaburra ball which would be completely dyed in pink and would retain the colour even if its get old.
“It’s pink right through. Pink ball is not here to save Test cricket but to serve as a catalyst to bring people back.
It’s like changing the work hours of a stall. People cannot sit in 45-degree sun for cricket. The pink is the new red,” he said.
Ganguly, who has the experience of playing with the pink ball when he represented MCC a few years back in the UAE , said he did not have any problem sighting the ball.
“Brightness was a lot better. This is here to bring people back to the ground.”
“It’s all about marketing. Pink ball is the way forward. You have to find a way to bring people back to the ground. Everything needs a bit of innovation. Like nobody thought T20/IPL to be so popular till it came to being.
“We take the time to get used to the changes but then realise that’s the best way forward. Yes, there will be dew in winter but we face the same problem with the white ball. “First, let’s have a start. Let’s see the problems and try to address it and fix the issues.”
Laxman said that the pink ball will challenge Indian star spinner R. Ashwin as it gets soft after 50 overs. But at the same time, he also expected Ashwin to come up with new ideas to counter the situation.
“Ashwin’s only concern will be the softness of the ball as after 50 overs it loses colour and becomes soft what I heard. But with their calibre, the bowlers will find a way.”