Indian Premier League 2010 November 11, 2009

IPL to trial pink balls in practice games

Cricinfo staff

The IPL will use pink balls at practice games ahead of the third season of the Twenty20 Indian domestic league starting on March 12, Lalit Modi, the tournament chairman, has said. The IPL will also experiment with four fielding substitutes instead of just the twelfth man.

"IPL teams to test pink ball in their practice matches and sessions in partnership with MCC," Modi posted on his twitter site. "Four fielding substitutes rather than 12th man."

Modi is currently in Bangkok where the IPL is holding a workshop to discuss the third season, to be held across India.

The MCC had suggested using pink balls as an alternative to white ones, which often get discoloured and can be difficult to spot in day-night matches. Although this suggestion was rejected by the ECB in county cricket, the IPL had shown interest in trialling them.

The introduction of pink balls is considered essential if Test cricket is to be played in the day-night format - an idea that the BCCI has supported to increase spectator interest.

"The concept of using pink balls in the IPL received a very positive reception from the franchise owners," John Stephenson, MCC head of cricket, said. "The successful use of pink balls in the IPL would be a major step towards their acceptance in international cricket, as it would expose most of the world's top Test players to the ball. It would also add further weight to the IPL's standing as a progressive force in the game.

"Pink balls are suitable for use with white or coloured clothing, during the day or at night. They are easily visible to spectators, they work well on television and are innovative and marketable. Importantly, the balls behave as cricket balls should and have already received backing from top players and umpires, such as Shaun Pollock and Steve Waugh. It is a compelling case to take forward for international cricket."