Pink cricket ball ready for day-night Test, says manufacturer

Melbourne, June 16 (IANS) Kookaburra, the manufacturer of cricket’s new pink ball, on Tuesday declared it is Test match ready, if the inaugural day-night contest goes ahead in Australia in November.

Cricket Australia (CA) hopes to stage the first day-night Test against New Zealand later this year, with Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart among the possible venues.

Kookaburra managing director Brett Elliot said he had been pleased with the results of extensive testing, including in the Sheffield Shield last season when a ball with a green seam was used, reports Sydney morning herald on Tuesday.

Elliot said the pink ball had been tested by CA, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

“The Kookaburra turf pink ball has been extensively tested over the past five years by the MCC, ECB, CA, and I believe the ball is ready for an international Test match,” Elliot said.

“We have also supplied a number of other ICC members like CSA (Cricket South Africa) and WICB (West Indies), and have been equally happy with its performances at domestic level,” he said.

There have been some concerns from batsmen and bowlers about the visibility of the ball during the dusk period, particularly when it began to scuff up, while spectators and even state coaches said they had struggled to see the ball race along the field at night.

In the most recent Sheffield Shield trials, the ball swung and seamed for longer and it retained its hardness.

“To ensure the best visibility whilst also preserving the natural wear characteristics of the ball throughout the course of the game, we add additional colour to the pink ball and also the white ball. This enhances the brightness of the ball although some say also encourages early swing,” Elliot said.

CA hopes the day-night format will eventually encourage more people to attend matches after work, particularly in countries where the traditional format is struggling attendance-wise.

It will also provide a boost for television broadcasters, as the final session will be held during prime time.

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