Pink Ball Debuts in Perth for Day-night Test
The bounce of the ball, the strength of the leather and 17 different shades of pink were all factors taken into consideration when developing a pink ball suitable for a Day-Night Test.
Western Australians will see the debut of the pink Kookaburra ball in the first ever Domain Perth Day-Night Test where Australia will go toe to toe with New Zealand from December 12.
The game in Perth will mark the seventh occasion that the pink ball has been used in a Test Match in Australia.
Shannon Gill, Head of Communications at Kookaburra, offered an insight into the history of the pink ball.
“In the 90’s, yellow and orange balls were tested, however, the MCC decided the pink ball was the way to go forward because the other colours left a trace on the video stream.
“In 2006, the MCC put out the call for ball companies to develop a pink ball for First Class cricket. Kookaburra took this challenge seriously and invested a lot of time and money putting it together. After almost nine years of testing, we finally created a ball capable of meeting First Class and Test Match standards.
“Our biggest challenge was making a pink ball which would last 80 overs without losing its pink coating. The coating which goes onto the leather is what allows it to be seen under lights.
“Since the introduction of the pink ball, we have made minor changes to the coating of the ball and that generally helps with its wear, tear and longevity.”
Australian off-spinner, Nathan Lyon has expressed his delight at being able to play a second Day-Night Test match of the summer.
“It’s fantastic that we have the chance to play another day-night test within the space of a few weeks. The fact that we are now able to play the first ever day-night game in Perth is great news for fans.
“The team has done very well with the pink ball in the past and hopefully our form continues.
“I’ve always been a big advocate for the pink ball. I think it adds another dimension to Test cricket and has proven to be very successful.”
Lyon has taken more than 360 Test wickets since making his debut for Australia against Sri Lanka in 2011.
Gill alluded to Australian batsman Steve Smith being a large instigator for change after the first Day-Night Test match in 2015. Smith believed the green and white seam on the ball was problematic and claimed batsmen had difficulty picking up the seam when the ball was bowled.
In response to Smith’s feedback, Kookaburra found that a black seam was a better fit for the pink ball. “We thought about what colour has the greatest contrast with a bright pink ball, so we came up with a black seam and used it in Shield cricket. Ever since then all the pink balls used have been with a black sea.
Australia will play New Zealand on December 12, 2019 at Perth Stadium. This is the first of a three-game Domain Test Series against the Black Caps.
© Cricket World 2019