New Delhi: Pink ball will not be used in Test cricket this home season, said BCCI president Anurag Thakur today. With this statement, Thakur put to rest speculation on India hosting its first ever day-night Test in the long home season comprising 13 Tests which will go up to February-March.
He feels more experiments like the one in Duleep Trophy are needed before BCCI takes the final call on introducing Pink Ball in Tests which has already been done by Australia. “It is too early to say anything (about pink ball). As far as trying it in Duleep Trophy under lights is concerned, it was a big success. But you need to look at overall picture before you take the final call,” Thakur told PTI.
“I think we need to look into many areas before we take the final call. I would like to go into details in a scientific manner to take the final call,” he said, adding “As of now, we are not ready to implement pink ball this season.” Pink ball was expected to be used in the ongoing Test series with New Zealand but the decision was put off amid speculation that it could be done in the upcoming home series against England and Australia. The home team is also scheduled to play a one-off Test against Bangladesh.
The Cricket Board chief explained why more time is needed before venturing into the world of pink ball. “I think we need to take the final call after keeping a few things in mind. First, how to make it more interesting (for fans) and result-oriented. If you have matches like the one in Kanpur (which lasted five days), well done. “Then we don’t need to do anything. Second, how do you involve more fans who come to the ground or watch it on TV? Third, you really need to look into areas as to how (pink ball) is impacting Test cricket at a time when enough people are not coming to watch Test cricket. What are the real reasons behind it?
One more factor to be considered, he said, is the role of pink ball or red ball in terms of seam, shine, turn, swing and late swing. “With the red ball, you can have reverse swing after 20-25 overs, but with pink you can’t. So the challenge for batsman goes away,” Thakur said.
Though Duleep Trophy with pink ball was a success, it attracted mixed response from the current and former players. There was no reverse swing on offer in the recently-held tournament as the ball held its shine for longer periods and vicious turn was also not on offer. Sachin Tendulkar has also said that playing Tests with
pink-ball is not a good idea.
Thakur said the pink ball should be tested in at least a couple of domestic seasons before it is used in Tests. “Even if you have to play with pink ball, you should play two three seasons with it in domestic cricket. Let us look at the ball, how it behaves, how the grounds behave. “Let us take Test matches to smaller venues and see if it makes any difference.
You need to take it to much smaller centres where people have not seen international cricket. We must segregate Test and ODI venues and take Test cricket to smaller venues,” he said referring to the six new Test venues to be used this home season. “The way we have opened up new Test centres. Now we will wait and see how the response is in all these venues. That will be a real Test for the BCCI,” Thakur added.