In­dian first-class cricket turns pink

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

NEW DELHI — In­dia’s Duleep Tro­phy do­mes­tic cham­pi­onship be­gan stag­ing its first match un­der flood­lights yes­ter­day, ex­per­i­ment­ing with a pink ball in a likely pre­cur­sor to the ad­vent of day-night Tests in cricket’s big­gest mar­ket.

Or­gan­is­ers of the Duleep Tro­phy, a four-day tri­an­gu­lar tour­na­ment which tra­di­tion­ally her­alds the start of the In­dian cricket sea­son, are hop­ing to at­tract big­ger crowds by play­ing un­til around 9PM.

But the first match on the out­skirts of the cap­i­tal New Delhi is also be­ing closely watched by In­dia’s cricket board, which is widely ex­pected to push ahead with plans for a day-night Test if the ex­per­i­ment suc­ceeds.

The first-ever day-night Test match, which saw Aus­tralia beat New Zealand by three wick­ets in Adelaide last Novem­ber, got mixed re­views from play­ers and com­men­ta­tors.

But play­ers tak­ing part in yes­ter­day’s match, be­tween teams that have been re­branded In­dia Red and In­dia Green, were ex­cited at the prospect of the long­est for­mat of the game also be­ing played af­ter dark in In­dia.

“I think it is pretty ex­cit­ing and some­thing to look for­ward to,” said veteran all-rounder Yu­vraj Singh, who has en­joyed great suc­cess for the na­tional team un­der lights in ODI and T20 cricket.

“The New Zealand-Aus­tralia Test match I saw was pretty ex­cit­ing. The ball was swing­ing a bit much. It will be chal­leng­ing if it swings a lot, play­ing un­der lights,” added Singh, who is cap­tain­ing In­dia Red.

Suresh Raina, the cap­tain of In­dia Green who is try­ing to force his way back into the In­dian team, was sim­i­larly en­thu­si­as­tic.

“The Duleep Tro­phy has not been played with the pink ball be­fore and it’s a good chal­lenge. All the boys are keen (to per­form) and this is a good plat­form ahead of the sea­son,” said Raina.

Singh’s team won the toss and chose to bat first in the af­ter­noon in front of a size­able crowd who had filed in to watch a piece of crick­et­ing his­tory.

“It’s a novel idea. Lo­cal peo­ple are ea­ger to watch the pink ball game un­der lights. We are just hop­ing that all goes well,” Ra­jeev Tyagi, one of the ground’s ad­min­is­tra­tors, told AFP.

In­dia had been ex­pected to stage their first daynight Test dur­ing a tour by New Zealand start­ing next month. But the plans were shelved to give more time for tri­als of the pink Kook­aburra ball.

De­sign­ers say the pink ball is far more vis­i­ble un­der lights than the red ball that has tra­di­tion­ally been used in Tests.

The white ball used in lim­ited-overs cricket is not vi­able for Tests as it clashes with the play­ers’ white cloth­ing and sight screens as well as be­ing less durable.—AFP.

Itume­leng Khune

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.