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A different ball game altogether

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) comes up with another innovation taking cricket forward, this time by introducing pink balls to solve visibility issues.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2007 19:35 IST

Cricket is all set to embrace yet another innovation with the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), custodian of the game's laws, introducing pink balls in an effort to solve visibility difficulties often associated with the white ones.

"Paint tends to flake off white balls and we have asked Kookaburra to produce a batch of pink ones because these show up so much better," said John Stephenson, MCC's head of cricket.

"The challenge is to produce a ball which retains its colour I doubt it will be any more expensive to produce or buy. I have asked Mike Gatting, the ECBs managing director of cricket partnerships, to use them in county second XI one-day matches, but we shall start by trying them in fixtures such as MCC versus Europe and in the university matches we sponsor," Stephenson, a former England player, was quoted as saying by 'The Times'.

MCC believes the new pink ball would be easier to sight, especially in poor light, by the batsmen and experiments would take place in the indoor school at Lord's.

Scientists at the Imperial College in London will work on the project and the first use of the balls would be witnessed in university and second XI matches early next year.

And if it clicked, the ball would be used first in county cricket and finally in one-dayers.

"My aim would be to use the pink ball in Twenty20 cricket in 2009 and thereafter in one-day international cricket, but this will be dependent on trials and what the ECB thinks, Stephenson said.

Incidentally, Kookaburra has manufactured pink balls in Australia for women's cricket Down Under.

Former England captain Mike Gatting seemed amused by the idea as he said, "We must always push the game forward and ensure we have the right equipment.

"We have tried white and orange balls and perhaps pink ones will last longer. This is a very interesting and wise development and a colour might have been found that is easier on the eye."

"We are trying to make cricket a better game for the players and television and have got past looking at it from a traditionalists view," he added.

First Published: Nov 13, 2007 19:29 IST