Wednesday, November 11, 2009

IPL to trial pink balls in practice games

The IPL will use pink balls at practice games ahead of the third season of the Twenty20 Indian domestic league starting on March 12, Lalit Modi, the tournament chairman, has said. The IPL will also experiment with four fielding substitutes instead of just the twelfth man.

"IPL teams to test pink ball in their practice matches and sessions in partnership with MCC," Modi posted on his twitter site. "Four fielding substitutes rather than 12th man."

Modi is currently in Bangkok where the IPL is holding a workshop to discuss the third season, to be held across India.

The MCC had suggested using pink balls as an alternative to white ones, which often get discoloured and can be difficult to spot in day-night matches. Although this suggestion was rejected by the ECB in county cricket, the IPL had shown interest in trialling them.

The introduction of pink balls is considered essential if Test cricket is to be played in the day-night format - an idea that the BCCI has supported to increase spectator interest.

"The IPL are quite interested in using pink balls and I am waiting to hear back from them", John Stephenson, MCC head of cricket, told the Daily Telegraph last month. "We will continue to use pink balls because we believe that they retain their colour longer than white balls. If we are going to play day-night Test cricket in the future then we are going to have to find a solution."

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