Anurag Thakur, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Thursday, April 21 that India will play a day-night Test against New Zealand later this year.
“We have decided that we will play one Day-Night Test match with a pink ball against New Zealand later this year. Before that Duleep Trophy will act as a dress rehearsal for the Day-Night Test match,” BCCI secretary told media persons at the BCCI’s headquarters in the capital on Thursday.
In order to raise the dwindling number of spectators in the stadium, the BCCI is all set to host its first-ever Day-Night cricket Test with the pink ball when New Zealand will tour India later in 2016.
Thakur also said that the behaviour of the pink kookaburra in Indian conditions will be tested during the Duleep Trophy this year. “We have decided that we will play one day-night Test match with the pink ball against New Zealand later this year. Before that Duleep Trophy will act as a dress rehearsal for the day-night Test match”. He further added, “While we have not zeroed in on the venue, there are lots of factors that need to be taken into account. Things like dew factor, how the spinners bowl with the pink kookaburra on Indian pitches. These things we will get an idea during the Duleep Trophy.”
During that Duleep Trophy game, the pink kookaburra will be preferred over the SG Test balls that are generally used in India and all the leading Indian cricketers are expected to play and to give a feedback on how the ball behaves.
“We may ask SG to manufacture pink balls later but that has to be of the quality of pink balls that kookaburra produces,” said Thakur. The behaviour of the pink ball came into scrutiny in the debut Day/Night test match. The pink ball did quite a bit under lights, which puts added pressure on the curator to tailor the pitch in a way that the match lasts longer. A little less grass could help to extend the match and make the game a little more batsman-friendly. Visibility was a problem as some fielders had difficulties spotting the ball.
Day Night cricket can certainly bring the crowds back to cricket’s oldest format, considering the convenience of timing and the excitement.
This certainly is an exciting news for cricket fans in India. After the huge success in Australia, it remains to be seen what happens in India.