And Pink Balls.
The final test between New Zealand and Australia being played at The Adelaide Oval, Nov 27 – Dec 1, 2015 is significant for a number of reasons. Play opened on the first anniversary of the death of Phillip Hughes, who was killed by a bouncer at Adelaide Oval whilst playing for and in his home state against N.S.W on Nov 27, 2014.
Also significant is the test will be the first ever played under lights as a day night match. With daylight saving in force, actual night play will be limited to a couple of hours, but will have a preceding period of troublesome dusk and twilight conditions.
This test will also see the introduction to test cricket of the pink ball. Designed for greater visibility under all the lighting conditions expected during play, it also has to go the distance (80 overs) required by test matches. Whilst a white ball is available, it only has to survive 50 overs and then it only just does that. The traditional red ball is difficult to see under lights and particularly when it has been “aged.”
And in the history of live broadcasts of the game, this test will be the first to be shown in High Definition, with TV Channel 9 doing the honours. Millions of television sets across the country, will be re-tuned Nov 26, to be ready to receive day 1 of the test the following day in glorious high definition.
Whilst the shortened versions of the game, namely T20 – (20 overs per innings) and one day matches, limited to 50 overs per innings, have proved to be very popular and still evolving with changes to play and rules generally well accepted, test cricket is a different ball game.
With a long history steeped in tradition, it remains to be tested as to whether day-night test matches and a pink ball that hardly deteriorates, will be as widely accepted.