Australia news June 30, 2014

Pink balls could lead to 'very, very boring cricket'

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Australia's cricketers have collectively called "dead ball" on the pink Kookaburras used in day-night Sheffield Shield matches last summer. Dead, that is, in the sense of being lifeless and dull. As Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket discussed plans to go ahead with a day-night Test in either Adelaide or Hobart next year, the Australian Cricketers' Association raised concerns over the viability of the pink balls likely to be used.

After last season's trial, which involved a full round of day-night Shield matches in March, the ACA surveyed players to assess whether the concept had been a success, and how the pink balls had performed. The results were far from convincing. Only 24% of players surveyed said they believed day-night Tests should be played in future, and just 11% declared the day-night Shield matches a success.

ACA chief executive Paul Marsh said the major concern of players was that the balls offered little movement for the bowlers, yet also proved hard for batsmen to score against. He said that while Cricket Australia was to be commended for trialing the concept and that the players were open to further experimentation, rushing into day-night Tests without further improvements to the ball could prove detrimental to the game.

"The ball itself, they [the players] were quite critical of it," Marsh told ESPNcricinfo. "The general feedback was that it went soft very quickly, the ball didn't swing, it didn't seam, it didn't reverse swing. So it became a ball that was very difficult to get batsmen out with, but it was also difficult to score runs because it got soft quickly.

"The thing the game probably needs to look at here is that given the way the ball performed, the risk is that with no movement and the ball getting very soft, it could result in a very, very boring game of cricket. That's the risk. It might increase the excitement levels by having a day-night Test match, but you may actually lose out by having a ball that doesn't do anything.

"That's something that they've got to keep working on. The first day-night Test match, no matter what the ball is I'm sure people will turn up and it will rate well because it's new, but you've got to look beyond the first one or two games and look at the sustainability of it. I'd encourage them to keep investing in trying to find a ball that fits the purpose, because at the moment our view is that the pink ball is not."

Last summer's Shield matches were played in Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, and Adelaide looms as a likely venue for the inaugural day-night Test in November 2015. Cricket Australia said earlier this year that the trial at the Gabba had been less successful than at other venues as the ground's lights were different and made the ball harder to see, and another round of day-night Shield games will be played next summer in Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.

Work will continue on the pink ball but the boards of both Australia and New Zealand appear intent on introducing day-night Test cricket next year. After last summer's trial, 51% of players surveyed by the ACA said they did not believe day-night Test cricket should be played in the future, while 24% said it should be and 26% said they were unsure.

When asked if the pink ball had shown similar signs of wear and tear to the traditional red Kookaburra ball, 94% of players said it had not. Approximately 89% said the pink balls had not shown similar characteristics such as swing and seam movement as a red Kookaburra. Only 25% of players said they believed the pink balls provided a fair contest between bat and ball.

Cricket Australia's chief executive, James Sutherland, said that while every effort would be made to bring the pink balls as close as possible in characteristics to a red ball, they would never be quite the same. Marsh said he hoped work would continue on that before day-night matches came to Test cricket.

"The players are supportive of trialing the concept," Marsh said. "The players initially didn't think it was a good idea. They warmed to it ... but the problem has always been the ball and now that we've had the trials last year, the feedback from the players wasn't particularly positive around the ball.

"We're still very open to the trialing of it. We certainly commend Cricket Australia on trialing it. We think there's a little bit of a way to go yet before the ball is ready for Test cricket."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • malepas on June 30, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    As being a leather technician in early life, I can confirm that the colour DON'T make any difference to characteristics of the ball, its just the dye and nothing else, I think it is just mind game with batters, however, the conditions and atmosphere change will have an affect on the ball, same way it affects white ball, as it gets softer due to extra moister in the air in the evenings. So the solution is to change the ball after 50 overs instead of 80 overs and everything will be fine. The more players will play with it, they will get used to it. You have start from somewhere.

  • yaa_right on July 7, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    If the white balls lasts for lesser overs (~40) than that of red ball, THEN SIMPLY CHANGE THEM!! Use 2 or 3 new white balls per 90 overs (1 day) of testmatch. what's the problem with that?? (similar thing is followed in an 100 over ODI match).

    Also by using 2-3 white balls per day of testcricket, seam bowlers will come more into action and can give bowlers back the lost advantage (somewhat) in this game which is otherwise pretty much a batsman's game. Semi new ball can be used (as a standard rule) for some overs before taking the mandatory new ball to help spinners.

  • Adoh on July 3, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    I think everyone has got things the wrong way around. Why not simply make the uniforms black and use a white ball. The white ball appears to have no issues.

  • xtrafalgarx on July 2, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    This is surely a joke. People keep fussing over the ball as if the red one is a thing of heaven. How hard can it be to come up with a ball exactly the same as the red one but in a different colour!?

  • YorkshirePudding on July 1, 2014, 21:16 GMT

    @Rama Knian, it all depends where in the world you are from, and who the opponents are.

    In England most days for most tests against a major nation (Aus, SA, India) are sell outs, The same occurs in Aus. For mid tier games WI, SL, NZ it can be hit or miss, and for lower teams BD, Zimbabwe it largely depends.

    For example in England a test ticket to the India game is between 75+USD, direct, or upto 4 times that on some ticket sites, in AUS its about 1/3 the price, the other aspect is time off work, and trust me I wouldnt go to a day night test after work, as the first thing on my mind is to get home and see my family and spend time with my kids before they goto bed, Id rather have time off and take my kids for the day.

  • on July 1, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    These players who are resisting making changes to test matches are going to put the 'big' nail right through the heart of test cricket.

    Yet millions of test cricket fans follow test cricket on the internet. WHY? Why do we follow test cricket on the internet and don't go to the test matches during the day?

  • on July 1, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    The best way to support Test cricket is to play more T20's, less ODI's.

    People like T20's. Play more of them. Earn more money. Use that money to fund Test cricket. Then you don't need big crowds for Tests. Play the Tests on lovely village greens and make it free to attend.

  • on July 1, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    "how many tests we have seen where one team bats for 3 days (especially on flat tracks) If your rule is applied it will be a new format of cricket, not 'test' cricket.

  • crick_sucks on July 1, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    If at all day-night test cricket does get adapted then it will be the last nail in the coffin for test cricket.

  • siddhartha87 on July 1, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    NOt sure the abt the science behind it,but how come colour of the leather determine swing and seam?

  • malepas on June 30, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    As being a leather technician in early life, I can confirm that the colour DON'T make any difference to characteristics of the ball, its just the dye and nothing else, I think it is just mind game with batters, however, the conditions and atmosphere change will have an affect on the ball, same way it affects white ball, as it gets softer due to extra moister in the air in the evenings. So the solution is to change the ball after 50 overs instead of 80 overs and everything will be fine. The more players will play with it, they will get used to it. You have start from somewhere.

  • yaa_right on July 7, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    If the white balls lasts for lesser overs (~40) than that of red ball, THEN SIMPLY CHANGE THEM!! Use 2 or 3 new white balls per 90 overs (1 day) of testmatch. what's the problem with that?? (similar thing is followed in an 100 over ODI match).

    Also by using 2-3 white balls per day of testcricket, seam bowlers will come more into action and can give bowlers back the lost advantage (somewhat) in this game which is otherwise pretty much a batsman's game. Semi new ball can be used (as a standard rule) for some overs before taking the mandatory new ball to help spinners.

  • Adoh on July 3, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    I think everyone has got things the wrong way around. Why not simply make the uniforms black and use a white ball. The white ball appears to have no issues.

  • xtrafalgarx on July 2, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    This is surely a joke. People keep fussing over the ball as if the red one is a thing of heaven. How hard can it be to come up with a ball exactly the same as the red one but in a different colour!?

  • YorkshirePudding on July 1, 2014, 21:16 GMT

    @Rama Knian, it all depends where in the world you are from, and who the opponents are.

    In England most days for most tests against a major nation (Aus, SA, India) are sell outs, The same occurs in Aus. For mid tier games WI, SL, NZ it can be hit or miss, and for lower teams BD, Zimbabwe it largely depends.

    For example in England a test ticket to the India game is between 75+USD, direct, or upto 4 times that on some ticket sites, in AUS its about 1/3 the price, the other aspect is time off work, and trust me I wouldnt go to a day night test after work, as the first thing on my mind is to get home and see my family and spend time with my kids before they goto bed, Id rather have time off and take my kids for the day.

  • on July 1, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    These players who are resisting making changes to test matches are going to put the 'big' nail right through the heart of test cricket.

    Yet millions of test cricket fans follow test cricket on the internet. WHY? Why do we follow test cricket on the internet and don't go to the test matches during the day?

  • on July 1, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    The best way to support Test cricket is to play more T20's, less ODI's.

    People like T20's. Play more of them. Earn more money. Use that money to fund Test cricket. Then you don't need big crowds for Tests. Play the Tests on lovely village greens and make it free to attend.

  • on July 1, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    "how many tests we have seen where one team bats for 3 days (especially on flat tracks) If your rule is applied it will be a new format of cricket, not 'test' cricket.

  • crick_sucks on July 1, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    If at all day-night test cricket does get adapted then it will be the last nail in the coffin for test cricket.

  • siddhartha87 on July 1, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    NOt sure the abt the science behind it,but how come colour of the leather determine swing and seam?

  • ladycricfan on July 1, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Not all the centres need to play day/night tests. Don't play day/night tests where dew is a problem.

  • Mitty2 on July 1, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    @Dilmah82, but ODI balls don't do a thing after 10 overs, unless you get reverse but now with two balls it's almost impossible to get reverse in under 50 overs. It was reported at the time that these pink balls were much the same as white balls - they simply didn't do a thing after the initial conventional swing for the first few overs. There is not a fair contest between bat and ball. In fact, if memory serves me correctly in the day-night round the spinners got most of the wickets. In terms of a spectacle, it can't be better if the basic element of a fair contest between bat and ball is eradicated.

    Regardless, my points come to nothing if the players can't even see the ball. Just ridiculous that this is even being mooted without the ball at least being evidenced to be somewhat effective. Day night tests is purely for TV - much like the AFL trying to ridiculously schedule Sunday night games. Call me a traditionalist blah blah, but if the quality will decrease then what's the point?

  • Dilmah82 on July 1, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    Wasn't there similar opposition to ODI cricket but look at it now. This would be the best way to get bigger crowds to the game in the majoirty of the Test nations. Asia which loves cricket, but has poor Test match attendances. You could get more people in after work/school. They already played SuperTests in WSC underlights so its not completely new. There's too much fuss being made over the colour of the ball!

  • YorkshirePudding on July 1, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    @Aditya Mandalemula, Personally taking time off work isn't that bad, as a rule to watch a 5 day test I would need to take off 3 days max, if it starts Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

    The biggest question is over the fairness of the game, especially in countries where you get humitiy forming dew on the outfield, when the ball gets wet it wont reverse, or swing, spinners wont be able to get purchase to put revs on the ball, so the team batting has a distinct advantage, as the ball will be 30-40 overs old and just starting to reverse if the fielding side has maintained the ball.

    do you really want to see the death of reverse swing and spin bowling?

  • YorkshirePudding on July 1, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    @dungar.bob, personally I'm not surpised about the dye issue, from recollection Leather is a natural Brown colour before you dye it.

    Red happens to be a complimentary colour to brown, where as white and pink arnt, they are brighter so the brown shows through a lot easier, as it starts to get damaged. Take a new duke/Kookuburra and one that's 60-80 overs old, there is a marked difference in colour but because the colours compliment is not noticeable over time.

  • Clyde on July 1, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    Believing in the pink ball is like being a creationist. As Charles Darwin explained, you don't get a beautiful gecko overnight. This pink ball proposed may be the start of a new species, but it will be eons before it comes into its own, and it will be part of a different cricket. This different cricket won't, for example, be played in whites or creams, as, surely, like adaptation of the ball to floodlights, the clothes must also adapt. And so on, including the bat; perhaps, after all, Lillee's aluminium bat will, through a happy chance of evolution, connect with the softening, pink ball, with greater impact than willow can. Another thing: will the environmental cost of the floodlights be greater than, or less than, if the show were powered by direct solar, the sun? Taken in isolation, the floodlit format is a wonderful and exciting thing. Without history or known reference points, the commentators mention dew point and which power station is connected. What about night seagulls?

  • on July 1, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    I certainly feel Day-Night tests will not work. For one, due is already a problem in ODIs and favors the batting team. My opinions may not count, but i do have a solution for this. 90 overs x 5 days, makes it 450 overs to be split into 225 overs for each team. First innings of 150 overs and second innings of 75 overs. This may attract criticism, but let me also support my view that how many tests we have seen where one team bats for 3 days (especially on flat tracks) and the result is a mere lame draw? With this format, teams will eye for results as it's a test match but also limited overs for each team. Will ensure equal workouts for bowlers and batsman over 5 days. The fourth innings target, if not chased, results in a draw and not a loss. All rules like declaration may apply. So for example if Team A bats first innings and scores 600 runs in 150 overs, and Team B scores only 250 runs in 75 overs in their first innings, Team A can enforce the follow on and bowl for another 75 overs.

  • anver777 on July 1, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Pink Ball or any other color, personally I also believe "DAY & NIGHT" test cricket is not gonna be a success !!!!

  • towf on July 1, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    The duke balls swing a lot more, perhaps those duke pink balls can be used? How about the orange balls, they are much more effective I hear than white balls.

  • Rag-Aaron on July 1, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    @iceaxe, you nearly had it right. Use the white ball and change the players clothes to pink - it's clearly the optimum solution.

  • on July 1, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    If Day Night cricket has been successful with a white ball why go for a change as the visibility factor is critical for player safety as well. Authorities should not experiment too much as it is vital that players,their comments and statistics are taken seriously.

  • paddles952 on July 1, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    Just super excited that one of the big 3 ( aus) have decided to let us play a test against them! I presume a 2 test series?

  • on July 1, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    I don't understand.... Isn't the only difference the color? Shouldn't it swing and do everything a normal red ball should do? Or are these 2 different balls? If they are 2 different balls, just paint the red kookaburra one pink

  • thenoostar on July 1, 2014, 3:28 GMT

    Changing the time of day will get people attending tests? Quality entertainment will get people attending test cricket like the do T20 and ODIs to a lesser extent

  • on July 1, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    Dead ball? Is that an argument against Day-Night tests? How can they go against so many benefits of the Day-Night test cricket? Many employees with 9AM to 5PM schedule can finish their work and come to the stadiums and watch at least half of the day's cricket. Players don't have to play the whole day's cricket under sun. Only 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM they have to bear the sun and the rest of the match they can play in a cooler weather. That benefits the players from cooler nations (England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) to escape the wrath of the Subcontinent hot sun for most of the day's play. Day-Night test matches will definitely benefit the popularity of Test Cricket.

  • on July 1, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    Why go through so much trouble when we all know that the white ball works perfectly well during both daylight and floodlight? Oh I see! The traditionalists want test cricket to be played wearing whites. So the white ball cannot be used! We need to move on and accept a simple fact (without adhering to an obsolete tradition): All team sports in the world have opposing teams wearing different colors/jerseys (even ODI and T20 cricket), so what's wrong in accepting that in Test cricket as well?

  • dunger.bob on July 1, 2014, 2:37 GMT

    @ Mark Harris: As some others have said, it's turned out to be far more difficult than anyone imagined. .. It goes something like this. The traditional red ball uses a certain type of dye that's infused into the leather during the process. Every other colour uses a different dye and none of hem seem to soak through as well as the red. As a result the other colours are like a thin veneer on top with the natural leather not far beneath. As the ball wears it loses its dye colour and starts to become the same colour as whatever pitch its being used on. Red balls don't do that as much. They tend to fall apart before they fade to the pitch colour. .. As it turns out they got it right way back in the day when they first decided to dye the ball red. Even with all our technology we're struggling to improve on it.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on July 1, 2014, 2:09 GMT

    i'm no scientist so forgive me if this sounds silly..the way they make traditional red ball, to get to that dark red colour they are using a dye of some sort right? so why not use less of it to achieve a light bright red colour while still retaining the characteristics of the red ball??

  • on July 1, 2014, 1:31 GMT

    I fully endorse views expressed by malepas (June 30, 2014, 10:53 GMT) and Lexington North(June 30, 2014, 15:58 GMT) but this will extend play by 10 hours. Bowlers and batters may not agree. Then my suggestion will make the test a 4-day affair instead of 5 days particularly make it to the week-end test. Hopefully this will increase the interest to the cricket lovers in summer time. And a week-end everybody will love it. Resaerch on bowling methods may be looked into. Thanx.

  • iceaxe on July 1, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    Wouldn't the white ball be easier to see at night?

    If not, perhaps change the flood lights to pink ;-)

  • GregHowe on June 30, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    A day-night Test at Adelaide Oval offers the delicious combination of the pink ball, which is apparently completely lifeless and dull, and which makes quick scoring extremely difficult, in concert with a drop-in wicket which proved last summer to be so bland and bereft of any character (as predicted) that every Sheffield Shield match ended in a draw, and the Test match was only saved due to some high class fast bowling from Johnson allied to inept English batting. If soporific cricket is the outcome, as would seem highly likely, not only will fans stay away, but they won't watch it on TV either.

  • WeirPicki on June 30, 2014, 23:36 GMT

    Why not just make it a 20 over innings as well, every other tradition in this once great game is sadly being eroded.

  • on June 30, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    Use white bowl and change it after every 40 overs. And use fielding restrictions and also bowling restrictions. I think more people will attend D/N tests and also it will help the bowlers in the night time.

  • on June 30, 2014, 22:18 GMT

    The pink ball would be no different to a red ball. The leather is just stained pink. Maybe the evening conditions have an effect on the leather...........Just change it early then.

  • on June 30, 2014, 22:16 GMT

    I'm not a leather technician but a quick google shows that there are a multitude of different types of base chemicals for leather dyes. A different type of dye would affect the ball irrespective of colour. Two red balls made with a different base dye chemical would behave differently. I suspect, like the white ball, they have to use a different dye base to get the pink pigment.

    I'm also not a statistician but I reckon if you extracted the 24% who supported day/night tests and looked at their response to the questions on ball behavior you'd get less bias in the data.

  • on June 30, 2014, 21:46 GMT

    hmm, is it possible that these games were played on flat wickets in non-swinging conditions?

  • salimath on June 30, 2014, 21:39 GMT

    Players surveyed and writer do not talk about how it behaved for spinners. May be because it is done in Australia where not much importance given by virtue of grounds and players to spinners. They should try out in varied conditions to assess the impact of this ball. Note the red ball too do not behave the same way in different condition and even for the fact behave different from manufacture to manufacturer. When players can adjust to 3 different formats and 2 different balls I don't see a problem with one more type of ball, there will be whiners when there is a change and for sure there might need to be improvements in the ball which is a only a 'constant' change as you go by. I would say bring on night test matches sooner than later that way it evolves quickly.

  • inswing on June 30, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    It is unbelievable that in this day and age, they are unable to make ball in a different color. Cricket must be the only sport where they can't make a ball to play with. As for the players, they are generally conservative and like what they are used to. They will complain about any change initially but will get used to it in a year. As for day/night cricket, it is a lifeline for Test cricket. It will delay the complete elimination of this traditional form of cricket that hardly anybody watches. If you like Test cricket, day/night Tests is your friend.

  • on June 30, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    Hopefully they can move the sessions in test cricket by one, so instead of having a morning session, you'd still have the afternoon, evening and the new night time session and finishing around 9:30 to 10pm, could possibly work. Also having a brighter, more brilliant red ball should suffice, instead of thinking about a pink ball. That would definately help the test playing countries, who are struggling to fill the grounds on weekdays.

  • on June 30, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    Players surveyed think? What about cricket fans? No one has the time to go to all day matches in this internet era. Fans will attend test matches after work.

    If the players think that test matches could survive with empty cricket grounds they then have to ask the fundamental question --- Who is paying for this?

  • Yevghenny on June 30, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    it is something that will need to be worked on, but this is most certainly an idea that should not be abandoned, I think it will be very crucial to the long term health of the game. Quite simply most people cannot afford to take time off work just to watch a game of cricket

  • YorkshirePudding on June 30, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    @malepas, the problem with changing the ball at 50 overs is that you are more likely to remove reverse swing and only make spinner useable for about 15-20 overs, rather than 60 if the ball is red. This destroys quite a large portion of the game, what if the fielding side don't want to change the ball, also there is no regulation (Law 5) in FC cricket that states a ball must be changed after a given number of overs, and its entirely at the discretion of the fielding side.

  • ladycricfan on June 30, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Does the character of the paint differ from colour to colour? Why would the pink ball go soft if the ball is made of the same materials as the red ball? If they can't spot the white thread of the seam of the pink ball, use black thread. It will be easily spottable.

    Day/night test is a good idea. ODIs and T20s are played in the night successfully. The time is convenient to the public, whether to come to the ground or to watch at home. Good luck Aus and NZ for the trials.

  • on June 30, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Malpas- sorry you are wrong. Have you ever bowled with both red and white balls? The white one loses it's shine quickly and is more difficult to shine up afterwards

  • CricketChat on June 30, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    The reaility is, with day/night tests becoming inevitable in not so distant future, the players have no choice but to adapt to pink or whatever color balls that will be used. The initial protests are to be expected. That's the nature of change itself.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 30, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    @Harlequin, generally speaking its the number of deliveries, as the majority of the wear occurs through scoring caused by the ball hitting the pitch during the delivery, or rolling over the ground, the bat generally softens the inside.

    That is why bowling Cross seam with a new ball causes it to age faster thus allowing you to get reverse earlier.

    You also have to consider that day night may actually remove Reverse as the ball will start reversing about 50 overs just when the ball will get impacted by dew, what about spinners they have trouble 'ripping' a ball when its damp.

  • on June 30, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Why can't they put pink color instead of red on a traditional ball and use it? Why a new type of ball required?

  • ygkd on June 30, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    Of course the colour of the dye won't make the difference. But there are still differences between how a red ball performs (albeit during most of the day) and how a white one performs (albeit in reduced overs matches). The players who've experienced the pink ball almost unanimously said that it didn't perform as well as the red one. Either almost all the players were wrong, or the conditions were too challenging. As for changing the ball every 50 overs - the biggest question has to be what that will do for spinners? In fact, what will night Tests do for spinners whatever colour the ball is? If the answer is "We don't know", surely that just isn't good enough.

  • imtiazjaleel on June 30, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    i mean to say if the Pink Ball does not make any difference to the game. they used a new ball for the first day and if the team bats another day in the night which doesn't always happens they can continue with the same old ball or start with a new ball.

    I want to know what is the time they will start the match i mean how many overs will be bowled in a day time.

  • John-Price on June 30, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    With regard to those asking how colour can make a difference, I believe the answer is that it is not the colour per se; rather it is treatments applied to the ball to try and prevent it becoming discoloured that may be having an effect.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 30, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    @Mark Harris, the only difference is when the ball gets old, the white lacquer tends to get worn off very quickly and so it gets darker so picking it up against the dark backgrounds under floodlights is difficult that's why they changed the ball at 35 overs, then had 1 new ball from each end.

    That's the danger of the pink ball it getting dirty and fielders losing it in the night sky.

    In terms of more/less swing, its known that with moisture in the evening in some areas as it cools the ball will become difficult to hold and also is also more likely to swing and far more than first thing in a morning.

  • Harlequin. on June 30, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    @yorkshire pudding - is it the number of overs or the amount of runs scored which determines the lifetime of the ball though? Test cricket = more dot balls = less wear on the ball, in theory. If that theory is correct then the ball might last >40 overs, which would be enough time to allow a ball change imo.

  • LJ253 on June 30, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    The idea was tested out in shield cricket, and the results have been overwhelmingly negative. Thats it. Put it to bed. There is no need for this especially in Australia, where test cricket is thriving.

  • Hrolf on June 30, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    Looking at the stats of 3 rounds of the 2013/14 Sheffield Shield. Round prior to pink ball - 2943 runs, 94 w, RR=2.95, SR=63.6. Round of pink ball - 2975 runs, 98 w, RR=2.78, SR=65.4. Round after pink ball (and last round of the season) - 2790 runs, 87 w, RR=2.92, SR=65.8. This shows run rate slowing of 0.15, and no significant worsening of bowling strike rate (maybe 0.5). I do not think that this would be noticeable to the watching public, no matter what the player's perceptions.

  • sray23 on June 30, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    The white ball swings and bounces OK at night, right? So for the short term, why not play Tests in coloured clothes? Blasphemous from a purists' point of view I know, but it would only be a short term solution till they find a ball that meets the standard. Day-night Tests are needed as soon as possible or else we risk a whole generation of fans and players missing out on the thrill of Tests because their parents cannot take them to a game during working hours and because of low attendances, TV companies not being prepared to pay enough for the product for the money to trickle down to pay Test match specialist players enough.

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    I have never quite understood why colour makes a difference to the characteristics of the ball. If they use the EXACT same manufacturing process but just use pink dye/paint/whatever instead of red, how can that make a difference to how the ball behaves? Pink per se can't make the ball go soft or make it swing less. Can it? What I am missing?

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    Pink Ball a bad idea! don't destroy test cricket.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 30, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    @Ashish Misra, the MCC where using the pink ball in its pre- English-season games against the county Championship team for 2/3 years prior.

    @Harlequin, the problem is the White ball doesn't even last 50 overs, that's why there are 2 white balls used as the can only last for 30-35 overs.

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    I just hope they dont modify Test match cricket. Cricket was still interesting in 80s 90s and even 1st decade of this century when we had 15 overs of field restrictions and without all these new rules. More the modifications, more you will ruin the game.

  • Harlequin. on June 30, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    I'm with Jono Makim - use the white ball and get them in coloured clothing.

    'But the white ball doesn't last as long' - Then give them a new ball every 40/50 overs instead, it would redress the balance between bat and ball a bit too. I also have a feeling that the white ball would last a bit longer in test matches anyway because batsman aren't usually trying to smash the cover off it.

  • on June 30, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    Good to know that Aussies have already started to test the viability of Pink ball and have already used it in Sheffield Shield matches.Good initiative indeed.

    I have a question/suggestion: Why not to start with two new balls, one Red and one Pink ball? This will surely answer the doubts about the swing/seam/softness of the Pink ball with respect to the red ball. I think it can best be evaluated if two balls can be used together in a match situation. All the best!

  • YorkshirePudding on June 30, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    @22many, the same can be said of a number of grounds. for me there are too many variables with Day night tests, we've frequently seen how much impact bowling second in a Day night ODI can have on the result where the ball starts to 'do' more.

    There is also the question over the wear and tear the Pink ball can take, its slightly harder waring than the white ball, but I still think it starts to go too dull before the 80'th over, so what happens do we have a change of ball earlier at say 870 overs or the 1 balls from each end as per ODI cricket as I'm sure batsmen will start to complain about how difficult it is to pick out when its old.

  • on June 30, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    This may seem like a very silly question, but can't the Leather they use to make the red cricket ball not be dyed Pink, Yellow or whatever colour would work? Would only need to last the 80 overs or so anyway , or for night cricket the rule is changed and the ball gets changed after 50 or 60 overs? Just throwing some stuff out there.

  • dunger.bob on June 30, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    @imtiazjaleel: "Play with RED ball in day and PINK in night." ... I'm not 100% convinced that's fair. While it could be argued that over the course of 5 days it would even out with both teams having their share of ball changes batting and bowling, it just doesn't sit right somehow. I think captains/coaches/back room boys would start to exploit that before you can 'unfair advantage'. .. Or you could be right, but there's just something about it that makes me squeamish.

  • India_boy on June 30, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    @crazyaboutcricket.....How exactly are you crazy about cricket when you dont know this basic thing? White ball cannot be used against white clothes. It works in odis and T20s because of the clothes' color! Now you don't expect players to wear colored clothes in tests, do you?

  • 22many on June 30, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    and how many punters do you expect to turn up on a chilly Hobart evening....or when the dew comes down.. get over it.

  • crikidiot on June 30, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    I have actually used these pink balls - under lights. and while they are ok for sighting - its difficult to hit it hard - seems somehow softer and lighter - a strange combo. also doesn't turn or swing much. Don't ask me why. so I agree with the majority of players in the survey. basically it will lead to more boring cricket.

  • ygkd on June 30, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    White limited-overs and red long-format balls are as different as chalk and cheese. Yes, that seems counter-intuitive - it's only colour after all - but something rather more profound happens. If the pink ball can't behave like a red one then it isn't good enough. It is time to head back to drawing board. I'm not against day-night matches per se, but it has to be a proper contest and one which gives proper spinners a fair go for actually trying to put some revolutions on the ball, not just dropping it on a spot as happens in white ball stuff. Quality cricket is what is needed. If day-night games are rendered boring enough, no one will want to watch anyway.

  • D-Train on June 30, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    There is nothing wrong with the concept and the idea of day-night cricket. From a fans perspective it would be great. Quite often for 3 days of a test you're working/studying/whatever during the day and barely get to see a ball of it. Where as with a day-nighter you can come home relax and watch the cricket for a few hours.

    Having said that the ball is a big issue. They need to sort that out first before they can have a crack at day-night tests.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 30, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    I'm guessing that it's the dying process (wouldn't they have to firstly 'bleach' the ball, and then dye it pink) that is having an impact on the ball's characteristics? The characteristics of leather can be extremely fickle depending on how it's processed and treated. Simply trying to dye a ball that's already red into pink would not as easy at it sounds.

    @crazyboutcricket (post on June 30, 2014, 7:55 GMT): are you really 'crazy about cricket' if you're asking that? What colour of clothes do the players wear in tests (as opposed to the short formats)?

  • on June 30, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    For those who think that white ball should be used in test matches as well.... The white ball could not last for thirty overs so how they can use that in test matches in which another ball is due after 80 overs.

  • on June 30, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    So get them in their coloured kits and use two white balls just like they do in odi's. Using two balls they could get to 70 overs no problems, remembering that they used to change the ball after 35 overs during odi's when it was just one ball in use. If you are going to play day night test matches you may as well go all in with the kit, not come up halfway with a substandard product and besides all that the coloured kit may bring out a few more shots and make for some pretty lively cricket. Test cricket has little to lose, as I don't think true cricket lovers will walk away simply because Dave Warner is wearing a green shirt, that is what we are used to seeing him in! I'm dead keen to see Warner, Watto, Bazza and Neesh playing some big shots! Just do it already.

  • on June 30, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    @abhijeet80: exactly.. thats what evn I am confused about. And if visibility is the problem. why not dye the red ball white like ODI cricket

  • on June 30, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    I still like the idea of an orange ball... the comet-like tail could be an added challenge to batsmen, and improve the bat-ball balance!

  • crazyboutcricket on June 30, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    can someone please tell me why cant a white ball be used for day night test matches??? i mean it works in one dayers and t20 ...

  • abhijeet80 on June 30, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    Could someone shed some light on why the colour of the ball has such an impact on it's characteristics? Why can't they just dye the red ball pink?

  • chechong0114 on June 30, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    @Imtiazjaleel an absolutely excellent solution. People this genius just figured out the solution to the problem, this man should be voted president of the ICC. I absolutely and totally agree with this suggestion, use the red ball in natural light and the white under artificial light and let the players wear colored uniforms as well through a day night test game. Players and officials may be in opposition to this system but one fact that is as real as day about test cricket is that it is almost dead and it needs drastic change. People are not voicing their disgust for the boringness of the sport they are just keeping away from it that to me is the loudest protest ever. Even ODI cricket needs some shaking up, to think that they upcoming World Cup in Australia they have dropped ticket prices at some venues to as little as $5 and still may not be able to sell them is just woeful and worrysome. The sport needs drastic change and day night test cricket is the right step.

  • on June 30, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    ICC needs to look at the outfield, lights and side screens along with the balls in case they are serious about conducting test cricket at night. It might sound radical but we can have a look at extra turf like hockey or tennis which will reflect the characteristic of the green grass and will almost give the same feel but might come in a color that will contrast with the ball to enhance the visibility. Also side screen need enhancement in order to aid the batsmen to spot the ball better. Lights hue and color also make huge difference in the visibility of the ball at the night time. May be lights needs to adjust to whatever new colors ball is proposed to be used. All this sounds radical and majority of the cricket lovers will loath at the idea of going away from the tradition. In todays commercial day & age if anybody is serious about sustaining a game that last for 5 days and still might not produce results need to think out of the box or else the death of the test cricket is inevitable

  • SirViv1973 on June 30, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    @Rakudubai, I would also add that in ODI cricket players wear coloured clothing which makes it easier to the see the white ball. It's a lot more difficult to pick up the white ball if players are wearing whites. A move to wearing coloured clothing for day night tests would be too much for the traditionalists.

  • imtiazjaleel on June 30, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Play with RED ball in day and PINK in night.

  • chechong0114 on June 30, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Day night test cricket need to be implemented right now in order to save test cricket. The general paying public is showing their love for the game worldwide with a silent and universal protest that spells tons of empty seats at most tournaments.This disease has reached pandemic proportions and will only get worst as time progresses. Use the white ball for now and improvise until the perfect ball is established its that simple. The greater problem in cricket is its lack of fanfare at the games, the sport offers very little to its fans during breaks in play coupled with the fact that it is too harsh on players for any little on field issues in the heat of play. Even an exciting game like NBA basketball has something fun going on to keep the fans excited between its short breaks, cricket on the other hand offers nothing. The game does not show enough appreciation to its 2 most important assets which is the players and the fans. The sport is too self absorbed.

  • .Raina on June 30, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @Rakudubai: They are trying to find a ball that can last 80 overs of a test innings. The white ball picks up the 'colour' pretty easily and also loses shine/shape pretty quickly. It hardly last 50 overs without any dramas. And the older it becomes, the harder it is for the batsman to see it. Red ball is easy to play with even when very old (like 125 Overs.....) and is fairly consistent in performance. Pink colour seems to be easy to pick up across both day-light & under artificial lights, but for some reason the ball manufacturers struggle to give it the same shine and swing as the red one. and it also looks like it softens pretty easily. The next step would be to test it under different conditions i.e. cool English/Kiwi mornings and warm/humid sub-continental / tropical conditions. Still a fair way to go.....

  • dunger.bob on June 30, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    If the ball isn't any good then why are they so determined to go ahead anyway? I'll tell you why. It's like they've got a worm in the head and just won't be satisfied until they've tried it. Come hell or high water they're going to do this whether the players and public like it or not.

    To my thinking they've just got to get the ball as close to right as possible or it's going to be a disaster. We need exciting cricket where the ball is in the game as much as the bat and to me it doesn't matter what time of day it's played as long as it's an even contest. Trying to play with a soft, unresponsive pink sea sponge doesn't sound like the answer to me.

    Anyway, since they're determined, I'm willing to give it a fair go and see what happens. It might turn out all right or it might flop. We won't really know until it's done.

  • RomanSandstorm on June 30, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    ... the game.

    And yet, here we have a whole-hearted, genuine attempt to do something (anything) to save Test cricket, met with Chris Tavare's broad bat. The offered survey results are of little real meaning, as those surveyed are resistant to change.

    I'm sure that the "Was the pink ball easy to see while batting and fielding in natural afternoon light?" question, giving 'No' as 42%, if asked about the 'conventional' red ball would give a much higher result, for example.

    As for the composition and consistency of the pink ball, there are several differing red balls used around the world, all with different hardness and wear characteristics anyway. Hell, us Aussies have whinges endlessly about the Dukes used in England, and blamed them often for our poor performances.

    With the recent acceptance of world cricket domination by India I fear that the colour of balls will simply be a blip in the demise of Test cricket. I expect that very soon, only Ashes series will be viable.

  • Mad_Hamish on June 30, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    @Rakudubai We can't use a white ball because they don't last long enough. White balls struggle to last 50 overs in one dayers (at various times they have used 2 an innings because of it)

  • on June 30, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    because the white ball barely lasts 50 overs as it is. the pink ball needs to last as long as the red one

  • RomanSandstorm on June 30, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Well, that's pretty much as negative as response as humanly possible. While at the same time giving the appearance of being open minded and accepting.

    Almost invariably, players' association, in all sports, never want anything changed about their games. Even if it appears they may well be going down the gurgler.

    An absolutely perfect, green and cerise polka-dotted ball could be produced, with identical characteristics to the 'conventional' red ball, with better viewing capability, with greater longevity, and yet there would still be a majority opposed.

    Test cricket is barely clinging to life in two primary markets: Australia and England. Yes, I'm sure most who read CricInfo, and most players world-wide desperately want Test cricket to survive and thrive, all acknowledging that it is the real pinnacle of the sport. But we are a self-selected audience. The empty stadiums for Tests in SA, India, WI, Sri Lanka, only go to show what the everyday punter truly desires, despite our love of.

  • Rakudubai on June 30, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    Why do we need a pink ball? Why not play with a white ball as in day&night ODIs?

  • Rakudubai on June 30, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    Why do we need a pink ball? Why not play with a white ball as in day&night ODIs?

  • RomanSandstorm on June 30, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Well, that's pretty much as negative as response as humanly possible. While at the same time giving the appearance of being open minded and accepting.

    Almost invariably, players' association, in all sports, never want anything changed about their games. Even if it appears they may well be going down the gurgler.

    An absolutely perfect, green and cerise polka-dotted ball could be produced, with identical characteristics to the 'conventional' red ball, with better viewing capability, with greater longevity, and yet there would still be a majority opposed.

    Test cricket is barely clinging to life in two primary markets: Australia and England. Yes, I'm sure most who read CricInfo, and most players world-wide desperately want Test cricket to survive and thrive, all acknowledging that it is the real pinnacle of the sport. But we are a self-selected audience. The empty stadiums for Tests in SA, India, WI, Sri Lanka, only go to show what the everyday punter truly desires, despite our love of.

  • on June 30, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    because the white ball barely lasts 50 overs as it is. the pink ball needs to last as long as the red one

  • Mad_Hamish on June 30, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    @Rakudubai We can't use a white ball because they don't last long enough. White balls struggle to last 50 overs in one dayers (at various times they have used 2 an innings because of it)

  • RomanSandstorm on June 30, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    ... the game.

    And yet, here we have a whole-hearted, genuine attempt to do something (anything) to save Test cricket, met with Chris Tavare's broad bat. The offered survey results are of little real meaning, as those surveyed are resistant to change.

    I'm sure that the "Was the pink ball easy to see while batting and fielding in natural afternoon light?" question, giving 'No' as 42%, if asked about the 'conventional' red ball would give a much higher result, for example.

    As for the composition and consistency of the pink ball, there are several differing red balls used around the world, all with different hardness and wear characteristics anyway. Hell, us Aussies have whinges endlessly about the Dukes used in England, and blamed them often for our poor performances.

    With the recent acceptance of world cricket domination by India I fear that the colour of balls will simply be a blip in the demise of Test cricket. I expect that very soon, only Ashes series will be viable.

  • dunger.bob on June 30, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    If the ball isn't any good then why are they so determined to go ahead anyway? I'll tell you why. It's like they've got a worm in the head and just won't be satisfied until they've tried it. Come hell or high water they're going to do this whether the players and public like it or not.

    To my thinking they've just got to get the ball as close to right as possible or it's going to be a disaster. We need exciting cricket where the ball is in the game as much as the bat and to me it doesn't matter what time of day it's played as long as it's an even contest. Trying to play with a soft, unresponsive pink sea sponge doesn't sound like the answer to me.

    Anyway, since they're determined, I'm willing to give it a fair go and see what happens. It might turn out all right or it might flop. We won't really know until it's done.

  • .Raina on June 30, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @Rakudubai: They are trying to find a ball that can last 80 overs of a test innings. The white ball picks up the 'colour' pretty easily and also loses shine/shape pretty quickly. It hardly last 50 overs without any dramas. And the older it becomes, the harder it is for the batsman to see it. Red ball is easy to play with even when very old (like 125 Overs.....) and is fairly consistent in performance. Pink colour seems to be easy to pick up across both day-light & under artificial lights, but for some reason the ball manufacturers struggle to give it the same shine and swing as the red one. and it also looks like it softens pretty easily. The next step would be to test it under different conditions i.e. cool English/Kiwi mornings and warm/humid sub-continental / tropical conditions. Still a fair way to go.....

  • chechong0114 on June 30, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Day night test cricket need to be implemented right now in order to save test cricket. The general paying public is showing their love for the game worldwide with a silent and universal protest that spells tons of empty seats at most tournaments.This disease has reached pandemic proportions and will only get worst as time progresses. Use the white ball for now and improvise until the perfect ball is established its that simple. The greater problem in cricket is its lack of fanfare at the games, the sport offers very little to its fans during breaks in play coupled with the fact that it is too harsh on players for any little on field issues in the heat of play. Even an exciting game like NBA basketball has something fun going on to keep the fans excited between its short breaks, cricket on the other hand offers nothing. The game does not show enough appreciation to its 2 most important assets which is the players and the fans. The sport is too self absorbed.

  • imtiazjaleel on June 30, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    Play with RED ball in day and PINK in night.

  • SirViv1973 on June 30, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    @Rakudubai, I would also add that in ODI cricket players wear coloured clothing which makes it easier to the see the white ball. It's a lot more difficult to pick up the white ball if players are wearing whites. A move to wearing coloured clothing for day night tests would be too much for the traditionalists.