The Pinkball Saga

Test cricket must evolve.

Today (or yesterday, if you happen to be an ‘Easterner’) marked the end of the third test between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval. So what’s so special about it? Proper cricket-wise, I’d be inclined to believe that it was an exciting match, although it ended two days before its scheduled end. But as cricket fanatic, we can rather refer to it as history.

In its glorious 137-year history, it was the first time a test match was played under artificial lights, bringing so-called modernity to the noble format. After various strata of researches, a pink ball was used as an alternative to the traditional red Kookaburra to suit the night conditions.

 

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-Action during the match

 

There was huge excitement building up for this grand affair. Flight tickets to Adelaide were all booked and there was solid commotion regarding disciplined travelling in the city. Everyone wanted to be a part of history (who doesn’t?). After a wait of what seemed ages, finally arrived the 27th of November, the very day the first Day/Night ODI was played between Australia and the West Indies in the year 1977.

 

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-The iconic Adelaide Oval

 

The public response was tremendous. Even at its early finish in three days, a collective crowd of 123,736 turned up— which means, on an average, more than 41,000 people gathered each day, which certainly is an achievement to be boastful of in modern times. If the match lasted its scheduled 5 days, there could possibly have been an attendance of 200,000.

Coming to the ball, there has been a brainfreezing amount of research, in terms of the ball’s ability to replicate the traditional red ball. And certainly the manufacturers have fared well in it. Not only does it swing and seam quite as much as the red ball, but is also fairly easy to spot, posing no real threat, as previously imagined, to spectators and players. Also the ball carries nicely to the wicketkeeper, dismissing, again, a previously held belief.

 

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-Josh Hazlewood was the Man of the Match

Thus, after the inauguration, we can safely say that cricket has taken a right step. This change will also be crucial in combating the problem of the dwindling number of Test-match-goers. Having said that, we can surely hope that other nations would also adopt this Australian brainchild to ensure a safe future for the noble format of our noble game.

PS:- Australia won this close encounter by 3 wickets and etched it name into the history books, though I’d thought the Kiwis winning it would have been more favourable.

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