Night-day cricket should be the next innovation

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Those watching the first day of the inaugural day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand will have been sorely disappointed. We were promised slapstick and catastrophe, but got neither. If you asked us to describe it, we’d say it looked very much like Test cricket, only with a pink ball.

The pink ball’s weird. An optical illusion makes it seem bigger than it really is – like a cheat mode of Sensible Soccer that we may well have imagined. But that’s no bad thing. Throw in a large crowd and a beautiful sunset and it was quite a successful day.

If there’s one problem, it’s the names of the intervals: tea and dinner. As Sam points out, this triggers the somewhat tiresome and impossible-to-resolve north-south debate about lunch/dinner, dinner/tea.

To bypass this, we propose night-day cricket. Beginning at 2am and finishing at 9am, the two breaks would be breakfast and tiffin. Playing so early would also allow people to attend the game before work. Don’t worry about the players either. They’re forever complaining about jetlag, so this is no different.

We mustn’t let the traditions of day-night Test cricket hold us back. The pink ball game is crying out for innovation.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. That’s a terrible suggestion. ‘Breakfast’ and ‘Tiffin’ are often used interchangeably in South India. Ashwin would spend time in the middle worrying whether he should follow up his plate of idly-vada with dosas or upma. I guarantee you this would have catastrophic effects on his bowling.

    1. Our memory of South Indian breakfasts is that you need about nine of them anyway, so we don’t see this as a problem.

  2. Radio 4 once devoted an entire half hour programme to the subject of lunch / dinner / tea. It turns out that dinner was the main meal of the day for everyone. If you were a peasant this had to be in the middle of your working day, so as to refuel you for a hard afternoon’s miserable existence in the mud.

    On the other hand, if you were a member of the oppressor class, it was apparently typical to get out of bed at about 11 o’clock. The noontime meal was therefore just a snack. The main meal was taken at about 4 o’clock.

    Cricket, being an egalitarian game rooted in social justice, avoided this distinction by not having dinner at all. The proles were allowed to enjoy a lunch, while the aristocrats got to experience a tea. It’s because of this evenhandedness that cricket was the favourite sport of both King Louis XV of France and Stalin.

    If there’s anything else you want to know, just ask. The Higgs Boson, crisps, what to do when you’re in love with a beautiful woman, hemorrhoid ointment… anything, as long as it’s been on Radio 4.

    1. They’re bringing back Sensible Soccer, funnily enough. It’s being crowdfunded (that means funded by a crowd of people). It won’t be called Sensible Soccer though. We forget what it’ll be called and can’t be bothered switching to another tab to google it.

      1. On a 3.5″ demo disk somewhere 💾 I have a copy of a seasonally-themed cross between Sensible Soccer and Cannon Fodder (caller “Cannon Soccer” or similar) that was a promotional freebie with the Xmas edition of some Amiga magazine or another. Once upon a time there were so many Amiga magazines they had different names and everything and you had to remember which one was which. The world went downhill when they stopped publishing Amiga magazines.

        Either of those games could well be mashed up with Brian Lara Cricket.

      2. I don’t think your link is working Daneel 🙁

        Personally I’m waiting for Ian Botham International Command & Cricket Captain.

        Don’t think it’d be possible to drag me away from the screen.

      3. Curious Sensible Software-related fact: Jools, Jops, Stoo and RJ (the characters you get in “Cannon Soccer”/”Cannon Fodder 2”) were actually the names of Sensible’s game devs.

        “Stoo” was Stuart Campell, a Very Angry Game Reviewer who was spending a few months away from his normal job doing management and level design, and later became the prototypical Cyber Nat with his pro-independence “Wings Over Scotland” blog.

        You can tell he was a Very Angry Man because this was the Sensible Software games room, complete with arcade, fruit and pinball machines, and this (later down the page) is the story of how he smashed one of them into teeny little pieces.

      4. Funnily enough, Stuart Campbell is good buddies with John Walker of Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

        Walker was a poor benighted ST owner, though.

  3. With my current sleeping patterns, Night-Day cricket would suit me just fine, from a spectator’s point of view.

    Bring it on.

    I think the intervals should be coffee and breakfast,

    I also envisage a variant that might be known as Night-Night cricket, where the first interval would be supper and the second interval cocoa. Those of us mad enough to follow England’s test matches from home even when they are in New Zealand have done training for this one.

  4. I don’t understand why the DRS is under fire after the Lyon incident, like cricinfo suggests.

    It did what it had to do, in showing a clear mark on Lyons bat, Nigel Llong concluded it might be a random flash or something else.
    I personally think it was out, but fair enough if he had any doubts after Snicko showed no signs of bat hitting the ball (bear in mind that it showed also no sound when the ball hit the player).

    Point being, DRS presented enough information, but their interpretation was controversial. Besides people forget that the DRS is firstly in place to elimante the howlers (in this case it wasnt one).

    Anyways it was an entertaining and a little bit controversial rounding things of.

    1. Know what you mean. Think it might have been a case of the headline not quite fitting the story. Questionable decision involving DRS doesn’t equal DRS being questionable.

    2. Personally I think Nigel Llong’s decision was a shocker.

      There was a clear deflection of the ball as the ball impacts on the bat. That combined with a clear hotspot mark on the ball immediately following that impact and a clear hotspot mark on the bat, which could only have come from the impact clearly evidenced by the previous two bits of evidence.

      If real time snicko wasn’t working, that is a pity but not a good enough reason to refute three clear pieces of evidence.

      The most deficient aspect of the decision was Llong’s brain. He had llong enough to think about it all but still got himself into a muddle.

      I’ll be surprised if Nigel Llong’s tenure on the ICC elite panel survives the incident for llong.

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