Jamaica backs WICB's domestic experiments
The Jamaican board has defended the innovations to be introduced in this season's four-day first-class tournament - including day-night games - after concerns were raised about the quality of the pink balls to be used. The changes were announced last week as part of the WICB's efforts to revive flagging interest from both spectators and sponsors in the first-class game.
Jimmy Adams, the technical director of Jamaican cricket, is among those backing the experiments. "Everybody around the world is trying to do what they can to see if there is an answer to bringing more people through the gates for the levels below the international level, and in view of that I support that effort," he told the Jamaica Observer.
Adams, who is also secretary of the West Indies Players' Association, was in favour of the limited trials over this season. Each team will play only one round of day-night teams, except for Combined Colleges and Campuses who will feature in two of them. "People may try things that you may think are outside of the box, but until you try, you won't know, and the method that is being used here is in a controlled fashion," he said. "It's not as if the whole tournament is a day/night tournament. Let's see what comes out of it."
One of the critics of the pink balls is Dudnath Ramkessoon, the chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago senior cricket selection panel, who wanted more tests done on them before they were introduced in first-class cricket. Adams acknowledged the concerns but still felt it was a worthwhile experiment. "We are concerned about the pink ball and the fact that some of these territories at night ... the dew is very heavy, but you have to actually try it and then assess it or you will never know," he said. "(With) the possibilities that could come out of it (the day/night games) I don't see it as a bad thing."
Adams' one complaint was that the WICB hadn't provided the Jamaican team with pink balls for practice though the tournament is less than three weeks away. "We've asked the WICB if they can send us some pink balls as soon as they get them so we can get accustomed to them," he said. "That for me is not one of the more ideal parts of this whole scenario. It would have been nice if we had the pink balls from now."
The first round of the Caribbean first-class tournament will begin in Jamaica from January 8-11 while the final round will be played at Windwards between February 26 and March 1.
Day-night Tests and pink balls are concepts the ICC has been mulling over in their attempts to attract more spectators and television viewers.