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Pink no-ball

Haydn Gill

Pink no-ball

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THE RETURN of the pink ball under lights has not met with firm approval from everyone in regional cricket circles.
It’s not a big issue, however, for Barbados coach Hendy Springer.
As his men prepare to renew their fierce rivalry with Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) in a fourth-round WICB Regional Four-day match starting today at Kensington Oval, Springer expressed some concern over the continued experiment with the pink ball in the longer form of the game.
“It’s an adjustment.
I believe the pink ball deteriorates very quickly. I’m still wondering why they are using the pink ball,” he told WEEKENDSPORT yesterday after the first of two practice sessions Barbados went through on the eve of the match.
“Where is it leading?
But I’ve been told that at some point in time, the International Cricket Council would be seriously considering playing Test cricket with the pink ball.
“If that’s the case, more teams and more first-class arenas should be using the pink ball.
It is something we have to do and we look forward to doing it well.”
The pink ball under lights was first used in regional cricket two years ago following similar moves in other countries with a view to increasing spectator turnout.
Regional authorities have made adjustments to the playing hours which see the players doing battle from 3:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Unlike the previous attempt, when matches started at 1 p.m., two sessions instead of one are now played under lights.
While some observers feel first-class cricket should be played exclusively in the day, Springer has no objection to the later hours.
“It doesn’t matter when it is played. I’m sure people can adjust to cricket whether it be day or night. Quality is quality. Quality doesn’t wait to day time to come out or wait until night time to show itself,” he said.
“These youngsters have an opportunity to play a longer format at a different time of the day. It is a good opportunity for them to show that they can adapt.”
Since the CCC’s introduction to the regional scene in 2007, they have engaged Barbados in some riveting contests. Little separates the two sides in all forms of the game. In seven matches at all levels Barbados have won four and CCC three.
“It’s always a keen tussle. It is a battle that goes way beyond cricket. It goes to credibility, where guys are matching skills and wits,” Springer said.
“Both teams are based in Barbados, so we get a chance to see them a lot and they get a chance to see us a lot. They’ve provided us with good players and we’ve done the same.”
It’s noticeable that CCC seem to enjoy playing on their home turf at the 3Ws Oval but find the going tougher at other venues.They have never beaten Barbados away from Cave Hill.
In a tight points table, Barbados and CCC are in joint fourth place on 12 points.
Both are among four teams with one win and know how vital it is to secure maximum points here.
“This game is very, very important. We need to win this game to go into the break with more confidence.
It is a confidence-booster to build some momentum,” Springer said.
CCC boast of the top wicket-taker this season in off-spinner Ryan Austin (22 scalps) but their batting has been inconsistent, having been dismissed for less than 200 in four of their five innings.
While Barbados named their final XI three days ahead of the match, there are still concerns over wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich who sustained a nasty blow over his left eye in the previous match.