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October 4, 2009
The ECB's proposed plan to host the first floodlit Test next year has been ditched after two counties refused to experiment with the pink ball, according to a report in the Sunday Times. The ECB had requested Bangladesh to appear in the first-ever day-night Test during the team's tour of England in May-June next year, but the lack of successful testing has dashed that.
Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, said it was too late for the match to be made a day-nighter. "It needs a proper series of trials and that cannot now be done in time. Playing a Test in anything but white clothing is also an issue."
John Stephenson, the MCC's assistant secretary, said: "There's always resistance to change. We have got to find a ball that's durable and that really is the sticking point. Until we've trialled it in a three or four-day match, we won't know for sure."
The two counties in question, Durham and Worcestershire, had been requested to try out the pink ball in their Championship match recently but politely declined. "I was not keen," said Durham's coach, Geoff Cook. "It was a first-class match and I thought we should retain the game's integrity."
The ICC was yet to pass the idea and its approval was subject to suitable equipment being developed for the purpose. One main concern was whether the suggested pink ball retains its colour or needs to be changed frequently due to discolouration or wear and tear, to what extent would batting, bowling and fielding conditions vary and so on.
Last year the MCC trialled pink balls with a view to replace them with the less durable white ones in one-day cricket. The experiment had some success but reached a dead end when the England board rejected the use of pink balls in the 2009 domestic season, saying they were "little better than white balls". The MCC received permission to install floodlights at Lord's in January this year.
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