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Down with pink!


Cricket is an odd game. Good thing too. If it were conventional in nature and application we may not like it as much as we do.

Test cricket is the pinnacle of its oddness. I mean, where else do you get a sport where you break for colonial themed meal breaks, all wear the same playing clothes and shine leather balls on your pants like small boys working for loose change?

It is a game from a bygone era that still seems to hold appeal and grandeur to this very day. But much like a Rolls Royce, a three piece suit, or a British Royal person, changes need to be made now. And the oddness needs to perhaps take a leap to revolutionary in order for the game to survive.

I am of course talking about this business of day/night Tests, and this perplexing pink ball conundrum. It sounds brilliant doesn’t it? Something new, something fresh, something so very odd.



Only, it’s odd for the sake of being odd. And that is just not cricket.


The game is trying so hard to make this pink ball a thing that it is willing to lead top international teams into the hallowed sanctum of Test cricket to reluctantly give it a bash. It is manipulating the conditions of iconic Test arenas to make sure it can be used and not burn out like Shahid Afridi at the crease when his team needs him to stick around.

It is even willing to change the nature of domestic competitions so that everyone can be better acquainted with it for future use.

The debates have raged far and wide, all of us being caught up in this odd argument about it being the future of the Test game. A pink ball – the future of Test cricket? This is just bonkers.



May I introduce you to something a little less odd? It’s called the white ball.

Sure, the white ball was also a rather odd, perhaps even bonkers thing back in the 70s, but look how it has kicked on ever since. It changed the game for the good, and the last I checked it is somewhat more durable and proven than the pink one.

Now I hear your mind buzzing at the simplicity of this suggestion, and how it is perhaps not odd enough when looking at evolving cricket. But every now and again, cricket can just be sensible. It doesn’t always have to be Ravi Shastri dancing on a chair with nipple caps. Sometimes cricket can just be a soft clap for a well timed push through the covers.

Yes, the white ball means that the players can no longer wear white clothing, and that is a Test match fundamental. And yes the ball will get dirty and may need a change before it gets to the 80 overs mark.

On the other hand, there is the small matter of all cricketers having played with it before. The excuse of ‘we aren’t used to the ball and so are hesitant to play with it’ doesn’t come into this as the white ball is probably more in play than the red one, all things considered.

The players will have to play Test cricket in coloured clothing, but is that such a big problem?

Compromises and changes are going to have to be made going forward, whether we like it or not, and Tests under lights are certainly going to be a reality.

This doesn’t have to be such a massive change for the game though, and with the white ball being such a proven performer for years, I think it certainly needs to be considered going forward.

It just seems unnecessarily odd to me that it hasn’t been.


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Ben Karpinski is a South African sports blogger/MC/tweeter with a heart so broken by the Proteas, t...

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