Pink ball makes India debut as day-night clamour grows

New Delhi: India will witness its first ever multi-day pink ball game at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens from Saturday, a possible precursor to a day-night Test later this year in the world’s richest cricket market.

The four-day match is an inter-club final between Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore Club which is being hosted by the Cricket Association of Bengal, headed by former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.

The success of the experiment is expected to have a bearing on efforts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to host a day-night pink ball Test against New Zealand in October.

“Time has come to market Test cricket in a better way (to bring back the fans),” Ganguly, who sat alongside former Australian batsman Dean Jones and India’s VVS Laxman at a promotional event on Thursday, was quoted as saying by the Indian Express website.

“Just think about Virat Kohli facing Jimmy Anderson in a pink ball Test — the spectacle it will present. Let’s see the problem, address it and try to fix it with the technology we have.”

The Kolkata club match will be broadcast live in India with many prominent former Indian cricketers providing commentary.

The BCCI also announced earlier this month that the domestic Duleep Trophy tournament in September will be played under lights with a pink ball for the first time.

Australia and New Zealand played the inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide last year, attracting huge crowds in what was a boost to the struggling five-day format.

Agence France-Presse