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A gentleman’s game shows pinkterest

After red and white, the Men in Blue will face a pink ball Test tomorrow.

ET Bureau|
Nov 21, 2019, 08.25 AM IST
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Pink, not Floyd, but cricket ball. Welcome the optically optimum pink cricket ball to be first used in the subcontinent tomorrow in the first day-night Test match that India plays against Bangladesh. Played into the night under the floodlit Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the match’s choice of using a ‘pink cherry’, instead of the traditional red in Tests and white in one-dayers, may just have a worthy and unintended consequence: swinging the sport back from being too much of a ‘batsman’s game’. The red-dyed leather ball wasn’t an option, as it’s difficult for batsmen to spot at night. The white ball is okay for one-dayers, but deteriorates after 30-40 overs. Pink is perfect for this longue durée pajama cricket. But it comes with more shine and swing, gifts for the fast bowler, even as reverse swing becomes tough.

The pink ball was first introduced in an ODI between England and Australia in 2009. In 2015, men’s cricket would follow this trend in the first day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand. Will pink be the new red? If ‘optic yellow’, introduced in 1972 and getting Wimbledon approval only in 1986, can now be the standard tennis ball colour (fluorescent pink was also considered), the traditional ‘white’ — who knows, at least the white cricket ball, if not the red — will one day get the pink slip.

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