MCC thinks pink to find better ball

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The Independent Online

Fluorescent pink balls may be introduced to one-day cricket. The international limited-over game is currently played with a white ball, but ball manufacturers are yet to produce one that keeps its colour through an innings. Batsmen struggle to see the ball when it is grey and scuffed; a pink ball may help.

The MCC, which is responsible for the Laws of Cricket, is carrying out tests on pink balls. John Stephenson, the MCC's head of cricket and a former opening batsman with Essex, Hampshire and England, said: "Paint tends to flake off white balls and we have asked [the Australia ball manufacturer] Kookaburra to produce a batch of pink ones because these show up much better.

"The challenge is to produce a ball that retains its colour. I have asked Mike Gatting, the ECB's director of cricket partnerships, to use them in county second XI one-day matches, but we shall start by trying them in fixtures such as MCC v Europe and in the university matches we sponsor. My aim would be to use the ball in Twenty20 cricket in 2009 and thereafter in one-day international cricket."

What the late Yorkshire and England fast bowler Fred Trueman would have thought of a pink ball is anybody's guess, but the trials are worthwhile. The constant changing of the white ball is a contentious issue in limited-over cricket.