The pink cricket test is a recent phenomenon, however, is now becoming a trending topic among cricket players. This pink ball test is now one of the most commonly played day night test among cricket players. If you are curious as to what is pink ball cricket and how it is played then here is a guide on pink ball cricket.
While it was speculated that the day night cricket ball test matches are more common than the ODIs and T20s it is not true. Instead, the pink ball test match unlike its 145-year-old existence had just started to gain popularity at the turn of the century. There was extensive research extensive whether day night test match would be feasible or not and it was hence concluded that pink leather ball cricket will be a much better option.
What is pink ball cricket and what is its history?
The pink ball cricket test is a day night test cricket played with a pink colored ball instead of a red colored one. It is hence called the pink ball cricket. The pink ball was used as it was easier to spot the ball under the lights for day night test match. It was hence called the daynight ball.
In the late 2000s, while there was a growing viewership for the test cricket matches, the idea of the day night test match started to gain popularity as the scheduling of T20s and ODIs tended to bring in a larger audience. Day night tests were allowed to be a part of the game that was aired at primetime which allowed people to attend the evening session which was usually after work hours.
There was extensive research on how to make the day night cricket ball test matches work. This was important as the red ball was quite hard to be spotted under floodlights, especially during night time. There were various games played using yellow, orange, and pink season ball, along with some of the suggestions to play the game using a white ball which could last over 80 overs while the players used to wear the colored kits.
However, this wasn’t quite accepted by a lot of traditionalists as they wanted the test cricket matches to be left untouched and played in their traditional way. Later on, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced that the Lord’s test which was played against the Bangladesh team in 2010 will be played using the pink season ball. However, this plan was broken when the two countries suggested that the pink leather ball should be first used in a four-day match which was refused by the board.
Later on, during the year 2009, the first match was conducted using the pink ball during a women’s test cricket match between England vs Australia. However soon after in January 2010, there was a first-class match between Trinidad and Tobago vs Guyana in Antigua which began in the afternoon and was played using the season pink ball. This led to the first class day night cricket ball match.
The ECB finally got to test their pink ball test match with the Champion County match in 2010 in Abu Dhabi and then in Canterbury with a pink ball division two country championship in 2011. The Pakistan board also did conduct a trial with an orange ball in the 2010-11 final match of their first-class tournament however they switched it later to the pink ball test in the 2011-12 finals. South Africa and Bangladesh also tested the pink ball kookaburra in 2012 and 2013 along with Australia playing an entire round of Sheffield Shield match using the pink ball kookaburra.
Pink ball vs Red ball: What’s the difference?
The pink cricket ball in comparison with the white ball is painted to produce the pink color and a polyurethane coat has been added to the cricket ball to preserve the pink color for longer durations. Whereas the wax-coated red ball tends to lose its color quite quickly and appear brown when floodlights are being hit which makes it hard for the batsmen to spot the red ball.
While the core component which is the cork remains the same for the pink and the red ball there is a difference in the way they are stitched. While the red ball has a stitching of white thread there is the usage of black thread in the pink leather ball for better contrast.
While there are common notions that the day night cricket ball is lighter than the red ball, there is actually no difference in the weight of the balls. All the cricket balls irrespective of whether it belongs to the daynight ball category or not, weigh between 156 and 162 grams.
Differences due to manufacturers
The day night ball and the red ball tend to consist of differences due to the various manufacturers. Currently, there are three manufacturers such as Sanspareil Greenlands (SG), Duke, and the pink Kookaburra ball manufacturer and each of these tends to use various seams for various colored balls. The pink ball cricket matches that have been played so far have mixed reviews for the usage of season pink ball. While some say it is still difficult to spot the day night ball under the light and the batting gets tougher as there are increased lateral movements.
The effect of the swing factor
There has been researching on whether the pink ball tends to swing more than the red ball however it was dismissed by scientists. The properties of the pink ball do not change concerning the weather and hence there is no effect on the swing as well.
While the usage of the pink ball for cricket is still in its nascent stages, there are only two differences as of now such as the coating of polyurethane and the pattern of stitching.
Facts about Day/Night test matches
Some of the facts about the daynight ball test match can be provided as follows:
- Cricket teams use only the pink leather ball to play the day night test match
- Pink season ball tends to generate early movement and players hence find them pace-friendly
- Pink ball kookaburra manufacturers are located in India, Ireland, England, and West Indies. This manufacturer is one of the best places to buy pink cricket ball.
- Pink balls tend to have an extra coating of lacquer that gives them shine and the gloss keeps them shining.
- It usually takes about 3 to 4 days to get the gloss on the pink season ball right.
The pink ball test match is now one of the most viewed cricket tournaments which provide it hype among cricket lovers. While England was the first to identify the pink ball usage in day night test match, later on, India also contributed to taking this trial up. While India has mixed results on playing with pink balls, England however has the confidence to take the pink ball match forward and accept more pink ball test match.