Pink ball pi­o­neers tar­get com­pet­i­tive Test cricket

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Top of­fi­cials of the World Cricket Com­mit­tee in­sisted yes­ter­day that in­no­va­tions such as the pink ball day-night matches are aimed to make Test cricket com­pet­i­tive and fan-friendly.

Mike Brear­ley, the for­mer Eng­land cap­tain and cur­rent chair­man of the com­mit­tee, and mem­ber John Stephen­son were speak­ing in Dubai at the Test be­tween Pak­istan and the West Indies-only the sec­ond ever day-night Test match.

“We started ex­per­i­ment­ing with the pink ball in 2008, brought the pink ball matches to Abu Dhabi and all the ef­forts were aimed at mak­ing the five-day Test more com­pet­i­tive and to at­tract more crowds,” Brear­ley told re­porters.

Aus­tralia and New Zealand fea­tured in the first ever day-night Test in Ade­laide in Novem­ber last year. It in­creased the crowds three­fold over the three days of action as Aus­tralia won the match by three wick­ets. Stephen­son, who played one Test for Eng­land in 1989, said that fol­low­ing ex­per­i­ments, the pink ball case was pre­sented to the ICC meet­ing in 2011. “We took the ev­i­dence (on the pink ball) to the ICC cricket com­mit­tee in 2011 and it was in that meet­ing that the ICC al­lowed the mem­ber na­tions to get to­gether and play a daynight Test if they want to,” said Stephen­son. “It took some years to come to fruition in Novem­ber 2015.” The com­mit­tee un­der the Maryle­bone Cricket Club (MCC), re­garded as the cus­to­di­ans of the rules of cricket, works as a com­ple­men­tary body to the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) and it’s mem­ber na­tions. Aus­tralia will host two more day-night Tests-against South Africa in Novem­ber fol­lowed by one against Pak­istan a month later.

Eng­land have an­nounced they will host a day-night Test in 2017 and play an­other in New Zealand a year later. In­dia and Bangladesh have also shown in­ter­est in the idea. Stephen­son said the Ade­laide Test was a big suc­cess. “The Ade­laide Test was a dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sion, a so­cial cal­en­dar thing as a huge party was go­ing on. An Aus­tralia-New Zealand Test would usu­ally at­tract 40,000 peo­ple in three days-it at­tracted 123,000.”

Brear­ley said the sub-con­ti­nent could be suit­able for day-night Tests. “I think the sub-con­ti­nent is ideal for it but you have to pick the right venue where peo­ple can walk in, no dew and good lights. You have to tick a few boxes to make sure it works,” said Brear­ley, who led Eng­land to 18 wins in 31 Tests as cap­tain.

“The day-night Test give a chance to peo­ple to come after work and it’s a good spectacle and I am happy that peo­ple are try­ing it. I have seen how things changed in one-day, so it’s a new in­no­va­tion.”

— AFP

DUBAI: Top of­fi­cials from the world cricket com­mit­tee Mike Brear­ley (R) and John Stephen­son look at the pink ball at the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Cricket Sta­dium in the Gulf Emi­rate on Satur­day. Top of­fi­cials of the World Cricket Com­mit­tee in­sisted that in­no­va­tions such as the pink ball day-night matches are aimed to make Test cricket com­pet­i­tive and fan-friendly.

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