Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium is in the fray to host India’s first day-night Test after it emerged that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has proposed the idea to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) a few days ago. The talks between the two boards are still on as ECB has still not confirmed if they’re willing to play a day-night Test on sub-continental pitches.
It is learnt that BCCI’s decision to approach England came after New Zealand were not willing to play a day-night match in Indian conditions.
The New Zealand cricket board informed BCCI of their decision a few weeks ago, which is why the Indian board did not announce which city will host the day-night Test when it announced the schedule for India’s domestic season last week.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur told the Indian Express the decision of hosting a a day-night will be taken only after the Duleep Trophy. The pink Kookaburra ball will be trialled during the tournament in September, with dew and the effect of the pitch on the ball being among the key considerations. “BCCI will take a final call only after considering the various issues that is playing conditions, visibility of the ball. Feedback from the players will be taken after the game,” Thakur had said.
It was speculated that Kolkata’s Eden Gardens would host the marquee tie, with the state’s cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly pushing hard for the day-night test at his home ground. Kolkata is scheduled to host the first Test between India and New Zealand later this year. However, with the Black Caps expressing their inability the BCCI decided to approach their English counterparts. The board is also in talks with Cricket Australia to know if they’re willing to play a day-night Test against India.
“The New Zealand board is not willing to play day-night Test as they are not comfortable with the Indian conditions. There are various reasons, for instance the dew factor and ground conditions. New Zealand played first day-night Test against Australia and players could not find bating and fielding easy at dusk. So BCCI has got in touch with ECB and Cricket Australia to find out if they are interested in playing one day-night Test when they travel to India,” a top BCCI official said.
India A to play with pink ball
Meanwhile, BCCI and Cricket Australia have agreed to India A playing one pink ball game during their tour Down Under in August. India A will travel to Australia where they will be playing two four-day games and a tri-series. South Africa, which is expected to be the third team in the limited-over series, is likely to play one pink ball four-day game with Australia A.
Kookaburra, who are the manufacturers of pink ball, made a presentation of the new pink ball to the Indian board recently. It was decided they will send a few sample balls to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore where it will be tested. Company has made the ball such that the ball will retain its colour till the end. However, the BCCI felt if the shine of the pink ball remains, the the essence of Test cricket will be lost. “If the shine remains then the ball will swing more but it will be of no help to spinners. There will no natural wear and tear, and will also impact the reverse swing. So it was decided to test it in NCA first,” a BCCI source said.