In order to bring more contrast to the controversial pink ball and help the batsmen see it better at night, Kookaburra, the famous sports goods manufacturing company from Australia, has decided to alter the colour of the seam.
The pink balls which will be used during the day-night match between two local clubs at the Eden Gardens from Saturday will come up with a black seam rather than a combination of green and white.
“We have changed the colour of the seam since the Adelaide Test. After the Adelaide Test, where the ball had a green and white seam, we spoke to (Australian captain) Steve Smith and he wanted a more visible seam. So, we introduced the black seam,” revealed Kookaburra group managing director Brett Elliot on Friday.
So it’s quite clear that Kookaburra changed the green-white colour of the seam to black in order to make it more visible on the advice of Steve Smith, who captained Australia to a historic win inside three days in the only pink ball Test held in Adelaide.
Elliot, who is in Kolkata to watch the first ever day-night pink ball match in India, also said the extra shine on this new type of pink ball enhances its visibility too. “The visibility is massive especially when it is played under lights.”
Although he admitted that the extra shine might help the bowler to swing the ball a bit more, but the coloured balls swung earlier in the innings but then settles down as the game progresses. “We have designed the seam to provide support to spinners as well.”
In anticipation of the first ever day-night Test to be held in India later this year, Elliot’s company has already started to develop the pink balls at its Meerut-based office to prepare it better suited to Indian conditions.
Elliot was also very much hopeful that those 12 balls the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) procured would last long enough in this experimental match between Bhawanipore Club and Mohun Bagan Athletic Club (MBAC) at the Eden Gardens.
“The deterioration depends on how abrasive is the surface but the rate of deterioration is slower in the case of the pink ball.”
He suggested as the leather is now dyed in pink it may not lose its colour so fast.
Initially, it was suggested that in order to protect the colour of the ball, the pitch needs to be doctored. Before that day-night Test in Adelaide last year, Both Australia and New Zeeland captains Steve Smith and Brendon McCullum were consulted, and their permission sought, just to maintain a generous grass covering on the pitch, and the immediate areas surrounding it, in order to preserve the ball and delay it’s wearing out process.
Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough had left 11mm of grass at the end of the game, Australia captain Smith and the New Zealand coach Mike Hesson claimed more grass was left than what they had anticipated and suggested it also played a major part in the game getting over within three days.