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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 10:38 GMT
Pink balls set for one-day trials
John Stephenson with one of the new pink balls
The MCC's John Stephenson with the pink ball (Photo courtesy MCC)
The white ball used in one-day cricket could be replaced by a pink one if tests prove it is more durable.

A fluorescent ball could be adopted for one-day county cricket by 2009, and then across the international game.

The red ball lasts much longer, so the pink ball will not be used for Tests and four-day county games.

"It's about the quality of the ball and the fact the white one doesn't last 50 overs," a spokesman for the game's lawmakers, the MCC, told BBC Sport.

But there is also the visibility factor to consider - white balls can be notoriously difficult for fielders and batsmen to see in certain light conditions.

The tests will be carried out in the nets at Lord's this winter and also in women's cricket in Australia.

It's something we'll try and if they get a ball that stays the same colour, I'm all for it

Darren Gough

In the summer of 2008, further trials will see the pink ball used in county second XI and university matches.

The MCC's head of cricket John Stephenson said: "Paint tends to flake off white balls. The challenge is to produce a ball which retains its colour.

"If the white ball is not working, let's look at another colour - and pink was a pretty good compromise.

"My aim would be to use the pink ball in Twenty20 cricket in 2009 and thereafter in one-day international cricket.

"But this will be dependent on trials and what the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] thinks."

Mike Gatting, the ECB's managing director of cricket partnerships, said: "We have tried white and orange balls and perhaps pink ones will last longer. This is a very interesting and a very wise development."

Traditional red balls used for Test and first-class cricket can last 80 overs before being replaced.

However, in one-day internationals a mandatory ball change is now enforced after 34 overs because the white titanium dioxide dye rubs off the leather.

Kookaburra, the Australian manufacturer charged with making the existing white balls, are also producing the pink ones to be used in the trial.

606: DEBATE

Former England bowler Darren Gough, now Yorkshire captain, explained the change in balls normally favours batsmen and gave his backing to the trial.

"There's nothing worse than having a ball changed just when you're getting a bit of rhythm, and the new one getting hit to all parts," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I can't imagine playing with a pink ball. If people had said when I started playing that we'd have pink balls I'd have said, 'No chance'.

"It's something we'll try and if they get a ball that stays the same colour, I'm all for it."

SEE ALSO
Pretty in pink
13 Nov 07 |  Photo Galleries
Cricket equipment: The ball
24 Aug 05 |  Laws & Equipment
Does the white ball behave differently?
06 Sep 05 |  Laws & Equipment
Pakistan's sticky business
05 Dec 07 |  Cricket
Lighting up the cricket in Sharjah
11 Dec 97 |  Despatches


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