Mumbai: The iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata is set for another landmark when it stages the country’s first multi-day Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Super League final from June 17-20 in pink balls. Indian domestic cricket is played with SG balls, but this particular match will be played with pink Kookaburra balls instead.
With India contemplating playing its first ever day-night Test in pink balls when New Zealand tour India this November, this step by CAB will certainly give the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) a chance to assess the merits of demerits of doing so, particularly in the sub-continent.
Even former India skipper and current CAB president Sourav Ganguly admitted that it’s a way forward when the entire world is gearing up give the day-night Test a try. “Pink-ball cricket indeed is the way forward. Test cricket’s popularity has been steadily declining and we must do something to arrest the slide. The pink-ball Test in Australia last year received an overwhelmingly positive response and we must embrace the change. The Super League final under lights is an experiment with an eye to hosting day-night Tests in the near future. I think it would be a very good experience,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by national daily Indian Express.
It may be recalled that the first ever day-night Test match with pink balls was played from November 27 last year when Australia hosted trans-Tasmanian rivals New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval. The pink kookaburra balls were also used in Sheffield Shield, Australia’s premier cricket tournament, but was encountered with some issues both by the batsmen and bowlers alike.
The fast deterioration of the kookaburra balls came to the fore during the trial and CAB knows it well. It is believed that they have already spoken to the Kookaburra’s subcontinent head and devised a strategy so that the ball lasts longer. “Yes, we have got in touch with them and intend to follow their advice in ditto during the final,” CAB secretary Abhishek Dalmiya told the media.