Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Worcs Seconds Prepare For Further Experiment With Pink And Orange Balls

Worcs Seconds Prepare For Further Experiment With Pink And Orange Balls

Kevin Sharp believes day-night Test cricket in England with pink balls can work – as Worcestershire Seconds prepare to take part in another ECB experiment next week.

Sharp says the recent Second Eleven Championship clash between Worcestershire Seconds and their Warwickshire Seconds at Edgbaston was a resounding success.

The ECB requested the game was played under lights with pink balls as a trial game for a potential England-West Indies day-night Test next summer and play began each day at 2pm.

Now Worcestershire Seconds will use pink balls in the first innings and orange in the second innings of the four-day match with Hampshire Seconds at the Ageas Bowl nursery ground starting on Monday.

Both sides have agreed to take part in the experiment.

Regarding the Edgbaston game, Second Eleven-Batting Coach Sharp said: "Absolutely terrific. We were really delighted to get the opportunity. The weather has been good as well and the evenings were special with the lights on and it was warm and there was some good cricket played.

"We played on the Test match pitch (England versus Pakistan) so it had had quite a lot of cricket on it so it was quite slow and not actually easy to score. You will have seen from the scores that the rate was going at about three an over, and just under that at times.

"But having said that the whole experience has been special for everyone.

"Circumstances changed during the day. Early doors at two o'clock, the wicket was quite slow, the ball didn't come on and offered a bit to spin.

"Then as the day went on and when it got into the evening and a bit of dew came down, the ball skidded on a bit more and was probably a better time for batting in that respect.

"Twilight was a difficult period for viewing at times for players. One or two of the batsmen felt it was a bit glarey at that time and in England, the twilight period lasts longer than overseas. Overseas it goes from light to dark fairly quickly and in England it doesn't.

"During that period, the wicket-keepers found it a bit more difficult for judging, perhaps one or two of the outfielders as well.

"It is an interesting concept for the ECB to contemplate but I think it could work – definitely."

In terms of playing with a pink ball, Sharp said: "Batters generally, apart from that twilight period, had no problem and it was with a white sightscreen and you wonder if a black sightscreen might be better.

"The newer ball was easier to pick up with it being bright. When it went duller, it was perhaps at time a bit more difficult, particularly in that twilight period. There weren't any major problems.

"Some of the lads have given some feedback to the ECB on what their feelings were about it, a mixture of batters and bowlers.

"The ECB were well represented and very keen to observe what went on really. We could have done with 20,000 in the ground but we were lucky to be able to experience that."