Australian TV network Channel Nine is mulling over using pink-coloured lacquered balls in the proposed night Test matches, which could reportedly become a reality in three years.
Although the idea of night Test cricket has been floated for several years, but the stumbling block has always been finding a suitable Kookaburra ball as the traditional red ball cannot be seen properly under lights, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
However, the executive producer of Nine's cricket production, Brad McNamara said that a pink lacquered ball might work at night, adding that despite the advance in technology, it is strange that cricket associations over the world have yet to find a ball that works at night.
McNamara further said that the network have done a few trials for Cricket Australia (CA) under lights with different balls, adding that a pink ball has given the best options.
However, the report said that although the CA had used trial pink balls in 2010, they did not last because of issues with the seam and the paint coming off the ball after hitting the pitch, adding that a pink ball had to be changed four times in an English county game.
Meanwhile McNamara said that the network is in talks with CA to stage a one-off Test at night, adding that a night Test match becomes a valuable commodity for fans and cricket in general as then the majority of the people are able to watch it unlike Test matches held during the day, when most of them are at work.
Confident that the idea will start to catch on once it starts, McNamara further said that it is necessary for Test cricket, which still gets healthy crowds in England and Australia, adding that he believed that the idea make come into fruition within three years.
However, McNamara doubted that an Ashes Test would ever be held at night As part of its new five-year contract with CA, Nine is already working on shifting the opening Test of the Australian summer to Perth, which would then bring the match in the ratings period and also allow the final session to be in prime time in the eastern states due to the time difference, the report added.
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