Cricket Australia has come up with an idea to add more faces to the cricket consumer base. CA wants to play day-night test matches and believes that more people can enjoy the match after office. This will also enhance cricket’s profile among the working class, CA reckons. But I think this whole idea will only deteriorate the art of cricket. Here is how.
Cricket does not only put physical fitness to test but mental agility, as well. The fielding test captain has to be on his toes throughout the day and has to rotate his bowlers deftly and set the field according to the bowler’s speciality. One cue for the test captain to rotate bowlers is by judging the condition of the pitch and that of the ball. The older the ball, the more helpful it is for spinners and medium pace ballers, preferably those who can dexterously produce swing; and the newer the ball, the more useful it is for fast ballers who can extract bounce from the pitch combined with stinging pace.
Having said that, if a test match is played in the evening, the players will need a light colored ball – white or light pink or even orange. But the problem with the light coloured balls is that they have the tendency to get dirty sooner than dark colour ones, i.e. a red ball. Now, if the ball gets dirty, the batsman tends to loose it’s visibility and hence there will be a mandatory ball change after every 40 overs, as compared with the present scenario of changing the ball after 80 overs. This will not give the ball an opportunity to get old enough to assist the medium pace and spin ballers, as mentioned above. So, there won’t be a balanced competition between bat and ball and cricket will loose all it’s sheen and entertainment.
And moreover, cricket has a 130 years old tradition and any eccentric change in the game’s original format will take away the technical nuances from the game. Starting a parallel format like ODI and Twenty20 is quite a good idea than drastically changing the original one. Though ICC is not OK with a day-night test match, let’s see what happens. Is the legacy of the game marred or nurtured to ‘wuthering’ heights, we have to wait and see.