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Sri Lanka set for pink ball debut

Pink ball cricket will mark its debut in Sri Lanka when the first unofficial Test between Sri Lanka A and West Indies A commences at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday

Sa'adi Thawfeeq
03-Oct-2016
The pink ball being used for the first unofficial Test, Australia A v India A, 1st unofficial Test, 2nd day, Brisbane, September 9, 2016

Sri Lanka A captain Dimuth Karunaratne feels the pink ball doesn't differ drastically as compared to the red ball  •  Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Pink-ball cricket will mark its debut in Sri Lanka when the first unofficial Test between Sri Lanka A and West Indies A commences at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.
"We have been lagging behind other countries in experimenting with the pink ball, but a start had to be made somewhere," Sri Lanka Cricket vice-president K Mathivanan said. "With the ICC planning to introduce day-night Test cricket in the near future we should be prepared to face the changes and not lag behind."
Sri Lanka currently use the Australian Kookaburra ball in their domestic tournaments. Mathivanan said the pink ball costed as much as the red ball, priced at LKR 16,000. SLC is also likely to use the pink ball in their forthcoming domestic competition.
Sri Lanka A captain Dimuth Karunaratne felt the pink ball doesn't differ drastically as compared to the red ball. "We have had few practice sessions with the pink ball and found it very much similar to the red ball," he said. "But with use, pink ball gets a bit strange and the colour fades."
Shamarh Brooks, the West Indies A captain, said the experience of having played with the pink ball should help. "The balls we use in the Caribbean are a bit light in colour, these balls are brighter," he observed.
Pink ball trial aside, the series will also help Sri Lanka's national selector identify players who can make the Test cut ahead of the tour of Zimbabwe in October-November.
Among those fighting for the opening slot are Karunaratne, Roshen Silva and Lahiru Thirimanne. "I think we have a strong team with some drop outs from the national squad. So this is a great chance for all of them to regain their form and perform well for the country," Karunaratne said, while sidestepping the question about competition for places.
Sri Lanka A coach Avishka Gunawardene said the priority was to identify a battery of fast bowlers. "The Zimbabwe and South African tours are coming and we have to find more fast bowlers so we will focus more on the fast bowlers during this series as that is the national side's need of the hour," he said. "We have a good balanced side including Under-19 players who performed well at the last Under-19 World Cup."
West Indies will play three four-day matches and three one-dayers during their month-long stay.