Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pink Balls!

The MCC are going to test pink balls instead of the white ones in school, university, and 2nd XI county matches to see if its feasible for them to be used in county cricket and later on in ODI cricket.

The idea behind this is that the pink ball will be easier to pick for the batsman out of the bowler's hand than the white ball. In addition, the colour coating on the pink ball will not wear off as it does on the white one.
Isn't the game already so much in favour of the batsmen? With the pink ball easier to pick out of the hand, it will make the batsmens' life even easier thus tilting, the already tilted balance, more the batsmens' way. Is it necessary?

Make your pitch on this post...



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34 Pitched:

  1. Soulberry said...
     

    What next!

    I'm expecting a slew of jokes as and when they begin to fly about.

    I hope it doesn't take root. Orange is as far as I'd go.

  2. Q said...
     

    Ive practiced with orange balls, yellow as well...but pink?! I totally agree with tour point on jokes, it even looks funny.

  3. David Barry said...
     

    This could actually help bowling sides late in the innings. With the new Playing Conditions requiring a ball change after 35 overs, bowlers are losing the opportunity to get the reverse swing going on a well-scuffed ball. If they can keep a pink ball pink for 50 overs, there's no need to replace it.

  4. Q said...
     

    But Mr. Barry, if the pink ball remains pink for the 50 overs without being a bit scuffed like a white or red one, then there will be no reverse swing.

    A red ball gets slighly pinkish when roughed, a white one becomes grey, what would happen to a pink one? I think turn whitish, making it harder to pick and thus also being replaced.

  5. David Barry said...
     

    I'm sure that the pink balls would still get scuffed, so you could still reverse them. It's just that their colour wouldn't become similar to the pitch.

    At worst, they will lose their colour and become hard to pick up, and they'll need to be replaced. If that's what happens in the trials, then we'll stick with white balls at the top level. But it's certainly worth a try.

  6. Q said...
     

    I've heard they are already being used in womens cricket in Australia? Any idea how they're shaping up there Mr. Barry?

    But I think there's another problem with pink balls and thats explained well in soulberry's blog here: http://tcwj.blogspot.com/2007/11/pink-associations.html

  7. David Barry said...
     

    I was under the impression that they'll be trialled in women's cricket next season, and they haven't been introduced yet. In any case, I'm living in France until May, so I won't be seeing the Australian summer up close....

    As for the other point, it's only one-day cricket. :) I reckon we'd get used to them pretty quickly.

  8. Anonymous said...
     

    so what's the rationale behind not using the red-cherry again? It's not bright enough? Can't they make it coke-red instead of blood-red?

  9. David Barry said...
     

    Anonymous: The red ball is very hard to see at night.

  10. Q said...
     

    Anonymous: The pink balls are being suggested to replace the white balls for ODIs not the red ones for tests. The red cherry is there to stay.

    Mr. Barry: The pink balls are already being used in Australia.

    "The balls, made by Kookaburra, are already in use in Australia, where they are being tested in women's cricket." (http://content-gulf.cricinfo.com/england/content/current/story/319561.html)

    Next season they will be tested in schools, university, and county in England. And then in the 20-20 WC in England in 09.

  11. Anonymous said...
     

    q - i figured as much that pink balls are for ODIs and not tests.
    my point - they brough in the white balls so that they can play in the night against a black side-screen. now they are going back to coloured ones. might as well go back to a brighter red one, then this stupid pink one.

  12. Anonymous said...
     

    btw - let me know how i can start blogging for the site.

  13. David Barry said...
     

    Q: It must be low-level women's cricket then, since the main domestic season hasn't started yet. The other news reports I've seen suggest that they haven't started using them in Australia yet, so I don't know which report's right.

  14. Q said...
     

    Yeh I guess Barry. Cricinfo is usually accurate.

    Anonymous - The red one is too dark to see at night against a black sigh screen. Plus the red ball would also be difficult to pick against teams like the Windies and Zimbabwe that who wear Maroon / Red uniforms.

    Thank god we don't have pink uniforms.

    And u want to be blogging? I have no idea who u r buddy - an introduction will help :-)

    U want to blog? Buddy pls tell me who u r?

  15. Mani said...
     

    Thats a good point made by David. However i really doubt the ICC would discontinue the current rule of mandatory ball change.

    If they keep the rule they eventually give the batsman the whole 50 over edge over the bowler. Harder cracks, faster bigger boundaries. Lights, camera, action. Thats probably what the ICC is turning into- a money making media machine. Charge the fellows down there with the cameras too while yer at it.

    If they do away with the rule, I think significant reverse swing in the later overs would return to world cricket, not to mention, a new era of ball tampering allegations.

  16. Q said...
     

    Spot on abt the ICC Mani...but its Cricket Australia who is imposing a charge on photographers, not the ICC. The Boards are as greedy as the ICC is.

    I wouldn't be surprised though if ICC come out and start charging the boards a % of revenues made from photographer and journalist fees. Ha Ha.

  17. Mani said...
     

    Q i knew only CA had imposed a charge on photographers but with the BCCI following its footsteps, I didnt think ICC was going to just stand around and watch. Im telling you, this game is going to become bigger and bigger you just wait an see.

  18. Obaid said...
     

    whatever the color of the ball, I agree with people on this thread that the ball should last the whole 50 overs in ODIs. The last 15 overs are not fun anymore without the ball swinging... things are skewed heavily in favor of the batsman. Maybe they need to change the color of the pitch?

  19. Miriam said...
     

    I read somewhere that it's difficult to be agressive in the face of pink, and that it's not unheard of for opposition dressing rooms at sports grounds to be painted pink for this reason. This may be a massive urban myth, or another part of a conspiracy against the bowler!
    I like your blog, by the way.

  20. NAzhar said...
     

    now if they had done this in order to raise breast cancer awareness then i would be all for it...but to help poor batsmen see the ball better! come on!

  21. obaid said...
     

    Thanks Miriam. Maybe the leather can be dyed a dark red or something before it is polished? That way it will look red when it wears out - Im sure technology can help

  22. Q said...
     

    Totally agree with your sentiments on the ICC Mani. Game will definitely get bigger, hopefully better too.

    Miriam - Thanks for your comments. I hope u keep visiting regularly. If the ball does go pink for the ODIs, I think that saying abt agression in the face of pink will go down the drain.

    Pink dressing rooms? Really? Wow, Never heard of this :-)

    Obaid - surely the pitch color can't change. And if the wearing off the pink makes it red, then the issue of visibility comes back again.

    Nazhar - LOL! Hilarious comment on the breast cancer awareness. That way, cricketers create AIDS awareness with the every test match ;-)

  23. Miriam said...
     

    Re the pink dressing rooms - I wish I could find the article I read about this, because it was really interesting. It was about whether colours have intrinsic connotations or whether it's all just "society" imposing pink on girls and blue on boys.

    I like the idea of a pink ball, but maybe it's just because I quite like pink. And maybe I like pink because I'm female. Or maybe I have been conditioned to like pink! Gaah.

    To end on an actual cricketing note, I think the scientists are looking into a way of making the colour stay in the ball even as it gets scuffed up.

  24. Q said...
     

    Miriam - Interesting thought about the society imposing pink on females and blue on the men and I think that is exactly why the sight of a Shoaib Akhtar or a Brett Lee with a pink ball in hand seems, for the lack of a better word, unmanly.

    Your right, the cricket administrators are using scientists to come up with a colour on a ball that won't disintegrate near the end overs of an innings. The red ball doesn't face that problem, but the white one does and that is the main reason why white balls are not used in test cricket - they can't last 50, how will they last 80.

    I'm just a bit taken aback that the scientists came up with pink when it could have been light blue, orange, or anything else.

  25. Ottayan said...
     

    More than the players and spectators, a pink ball can be easily sighted on TV against any background.

  26. Miriam said...
     

    Y, I think they found orange didn't work on TV / under lights and that it looked like a comet trail.

    I would have liked to have witnessed the thought process that led to the ball being trialled by women. "Now, let's see, who to try out this pretty pink ball. Look at how pretty and pink it is. I know! Women! They like pink, don't they?".

  27. Q said...
     

    Yep, women like pink, but I don't know whose brainwave it was to use a pink ball in womens matches..

    As for the Orange being comet like, I remember reading that somewhere.

    Ottayan - How do u know pink is easily sighted on TV - have u seen any match on TV using a pink one?

  28. Obaid said...
     

    Yes, I have taken some gender studies courses *sigh* and from a theoretical standpoint, pink is part of imagery associated with women while blue is associated with men. It is a societal norm, a construction of a male dominated society. If you see baby's clothing, this imagery is enforced right from birth (pink for girls) so no wonder it continues in life. To quote our very own Kalifornian Gov, pink is not associated with manly men.

    Feminists would say that pink in cricket would represent a very interesting dichotomy, because Cricket is a very tradition male sport (still is, womens cricket is not promoted, reported on or broadcast like mens cricket) so its very interesting that pink is being introduced in it. I could go on and on, how verbage in cricket is very male centric as well.. for example, womens cricket is called "womens cricket" while the male version is not "mens cricket", but simply "cricket"

    Miriam, I think you have allowed me to get rid of some old cobwebs.. i feel a post on cricket from the gender angle coming on :)

  29. Soulberry said...
     

    Did they consider yellow? Tennis plays them even at night. I feel color-blind players also benefit with neon yellow. Perhaps the problem with that too is discoloration of the ball with grass stains.

  30. Q said...
     

    Hmmm..yellow tennis like balls might be difficult to pick of the grass and the pitch, don't u think?

    But they're used in wimbledon so should be fine.

    Something i've always wondered is that the red balls are stained, while the white ones are painted and once the paint gets off it gets discolored. Why not stain the white?

  31. Miriam said...
     

    Or indeed bleach the white.

  32. Q said...
     

    Bleach the white? Can that be done?

  33. Miriam said...
     

    I'm no leather expert, but I would have thought so. Although I guess it might weaken the leather or make it deteriorate quicker (in the same way that bleach does to hair), which would defeat the purpose of the exercise.

    I don't know why I'm suggesting solutions, though, because I want the pink ball!

  34. Q said...
     

    Hahaha...One of my friends, who also wants the pink ball drew very interesting grafitti for me..I will post her drawing here.

    I don't know much abt colour coating on leather either, but your solution makes sense. I was watching the news yesterday and they showed the Pink ball being used in some 2nd XI county game, so the pink revolution has started.

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