Red balls could be replaced by pink in all Test-match cricket
Pink balls could replace their red counterparts in all Test-match cricket, according to English manufacturer Dukes.
The problem of light stopping play has plagued the longest format of the game, but Dukes now believes it has the product that can solve this longstanding issue.
Dilip Jajodia, the managing director of Dukes, has said that the quality of the pink ball, which has been criticised for going too soft, has improved and that using the pink ball in day Tests could reduce the time lost to bad light.
“I have a pink ball that is superior to anything else on the market, which will last 80 overs,” Jajodia told the Herald and The Age in Australia.
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t move on to pink balls for red-ball cricket all the time. It doesn’t have to be day-night, it can be during the day, there’s no problem.
“There is always the question of tradition, 'we must have a red ball for red-ball cricket, we can’t have anything else'. But you’re in the entertainment industry. There are a lot of people who are paying a lot of money and they’re getting shortchanged.”
Red balls have been used in Test cricket since 1877, when the first Test match was played, while pink balls have been used in day-night Test matches since the concept launched in 2015.
During Australia’s Test against South Africa in Sydney last month there was huge criticism that play was lost to bad light, despite floodlights being operational at the ground.
“We remain of the view that the game must find new and innovative ways to ensure players remain on the field, albeit safely and ensuring the contest between bat and ball can be protected,” Todd Greenberg, the Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive, said.
“We are in the entertainment business and as such we must play and entertain as best we possibly can.”
At home, England have still only played one Test with a pink ball, the 2017 Edgbaston Test against West Indies. The strong support for Test cricket in England, combined with concerns about cooler weather in the evening, means that the concept has not caught on as much as in some countries – notably Australia, where Adelaide’s day-night Test has become a feature of the Test summer.
The Dukes ball is currently only used in England, Ireland and West Indies, with the other nine Test nations using different manufacturers.