Cricket is getting used to pink balls

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Day-night cricket in whites (via Sky Sports)

Pink balls have been around for a while. We were making jokes about them a decade ago, but interest really spiked when they held the first day-night Test in Australia in 2015.

The weeks and months leading up to that match were characterised by endless versions of the same two interviews. Players either said that the ball was the same, only pink; or they talked at great length about how it was so different from the red one that day-night matches shouldn’t be considered cricket and this was in fact the birth of a new sport.

We enjoyed both of these extremes immensely – and indeed ran Pink Ball Watch in Cricket Badger for a time. We’re therefore gravely disappointed by the relative lack of kerfuffle in the lead-up to the first day-night Test in the UK. What little comment there’s been has been measured. If we had to sum up, pretty much everyone has said that the pink ball will be “sort of different but hey-ho”.

We can only conclude from this that cricket’s kind of got used to the idea of day-night cricket and if the breaks in play still aren’t satisfactorily-named, then at least everyone’s happier with the colour of the ball they’ll be using.

That does of course leave the tricky question of whether or not it’s worth bothering with day-night cricket in a country where it tends to be both cold and light in late evening. Our thoughts are that it’ll be a great success this year but that this is basically meaningless as everyone who attends may just end up feeling that they’ve learnt their lesson.


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  1. Pink balls to you all. I’m going, I reckon it’s going to be cold so might bring secondary trousers just in case.

    Am I allowed to ask here if anyone currently ticketless for Friday and Saturday would like to avail themselves of my spare ticket for each day? Pros: cricket, beer, arguments over what to call the intervals. Cons: sitting next to me…

      1. I love the notion that cricket could be marketed to those without furniture…

        …need chairs? – we’ve gottem – and you can sit all [day/afternoon & evening, delete where applicable] in our chairs for only…

    1. Hell of an offer. Sure someone will take you up on it. We can add a PS in an upcoming post to get to the email readers if you don’t get any takers from the commentariat.

    1. Excellent Ged-with-a-hard-guh-as-in-gun Ladd, I will. I’ll ensure I wear my merino baselayer with one-piece sleeves extending fully to the collar, so I am permitted entry to your environs.

      1. My G is soft as in Geronimo, Mike.

        I don’t believe the Raglan Stand has a dress code, Mike, but for you and Howe_zat the stewards might make an exception.

        There’ll be Charley “The Gent” Malloy, The Boy Malloy, Harsha Goble, Nigel “Father Barry” White and Daisy too. You cannot miss us.

      2. Thanks, Jed, for saving me from an excruciating potential in-person faux-pas there.

        As it happens, we were planning on dressing as stewards. I wonder if that’s specified as a condition of non-entry on match tickets?

      3. Spelt with a G, Mike, same as Gerald, Gerard or gestation.

        Will you be impersonating the jolly banter of the Edgbaston stewards as well? I do hope so.

  2. It’s only 3 hours later than normal, but it still seems odd that the 4pm interval is being called lunch, much more so than having ‘tea’ at 6:40pm.

    The behaviour of fans is likely to come under scrutiny a bit, there is much more opportunity for (risk of) ‘pre-drinks’ for a game that starts at 2pm and goes on for up to 8 hours – at least with an 11am start, there’s a modicum of compunction about knocking back one’s second or third pint before the meridiem.

    1. Truly. Maybe they should display a moderate-drinking pacemaker on the big screen every now and again so that people don’t set out at a sprint.

      1. Akin to the ‘ghost car’ on various racing games that shows your best lap pace, or that of the leader in qualifying?

        I’m planning to avoid the above difficulties (nomenclature, not awkwardness of meeting People From The Internet) by having a pint whenever there is a substantial break in play.

  3. Back in April ‘Alec’ left a comment on this here website and it went thusly:

    A. Cook
    Some bloke
    Another bloke
    J. Root
    Person, possibly a bloke
    B. Stokes
    M. Ali
    S. Broad
    Bloke, possible a person
    J. Anderson

    This comment still seems to apply today.

  4. It’s not going to rain while we’re at the match, Sam, but it is raining in Edgbaston now, as Daisy and I can attest by looking out of the window.

    I hope you too will liook out for us at the ground, front of the Raglan but we’ll probably walk around a fair bit – to avoid getting too cold and to avoid the dreaded CLB (Cricket lovers’ buttock) syndrome.

  5. Clearly pink-ball cricket is merely the ICC’s attempt at the mantle of the world’s most innuendo-laden pursuit, but cricket’s coming from behind on this one.

    The “pink ball” idea has long been incorporated into snooker – a sport that has knocked up the not inconsiderable advantage of 59 inch rods, many balls in play at the same time, and holes to aim them in. Rather limply, its full potential is hampered by there being only one blue ball.

    All sporting pursuits must bend down in defeat before the mighty Mathematics, though – it has the big one.

    1. There I was, blissfully believing that there are ‘hunners’ of nonvanishing continuous tangent vector fields on even-dimensional n-spheres. I thought I had a whole drawer full of them, but turns out it’s empty, full of infinite void. I could store all my spare brown balls from the gaping chasm of an open goal missed in your snooker analogy in there…

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