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SBD Global/February 25, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Cricket's Inability To Pick Night Ball Could Have Negative Impact On TV Talks

A day-night Test "is unlikely to be played any time soon because the worldwide search for a suitable coloured ball appears to have stalled," according to Andrew Faulkner of THE AUSTRALIAN. The issue is at a stalemate because while the Int'l Cricket Council says that "it is happy for day-night Tests to be played, it has abandoned coloured-ball trials." An ICC spokesperson said: "At present there are no plans for further trials by (the) ICC and the onus now for ongoing testing lies with the member boards." But testing in Australia, England, the West Indies and Pakistan "has so far failed to find a suitable ball." Finding a suitable ball -- be it pink, orange or yellow -- "has proved to be cricket's equivalent of alchemy after more than five years of fruitless experiments." A colored ball "is needed because red balls are too hard to see at night and the white balls used in one-day cricket deteriorate too quickly for longer-form cricket." There is "much at stake as the Seven and Nine networks jostle for the broadcast rights when Nine's contract expires next month." Day-night Tests "would draw greater audiences as much of the play would be on TV when fans arrive home from work or school." So including day-night Tests in the scheduling "will greatly influence the price paid by the successful bidder" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/25).
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