Hadlee: Practice games a must ahead of pink ball Tests

The BCCI plans to host one pink ball Test in each of its three home series in the coming season, with little time to get players’ feedback. The Duleep Trophy, to be played in September, will serve as the pink ball trial ahead of the first anticipated floodlit Tests, against New Zealand in October.

Because conditions are different all around the world, so we don’t really know how the pink ball is going to work here in India and that’s why players need to have those practice games."   -  PTI

Richard Hadlee, the first bowler to pick 400 Test wickets, gave a thumbs-up for floodlit Test matches, but the former New Zealand pace bowler hinted India should not rush into organising a pink ball Test.

“It is important for the players to have practise games, you cannot ask them to go out there and ask them to play a Day/Night game against the pink ball. It is unrealistic in a professional environment era. That needs to be tried and tested, so players can get some confidence,” Hadlee said on Thursday during an interaction that followed a preliminary discussion about a strategic alliance with Tata Trusts about community development through sport.

“That makes a lot of sense. Because conditions are different all around the world, so we don’t really know how the pink ball is going to work here in India and that’s why players need to have those practice games (and) that’s what is happening for South Africa when they go to Australia. They were against it initially, because they were to go under-prepared. You’ve got to be fair, if it works, it works. I am for it.”

The BCCI plans to host one pink ball Test in each of its three home series in the coming season, with little time to get players’ feedback. The Duleep Trophy, to be played in September, will serve as the pink ball trial ahead of the first anticipated floodlit Tests, against New Zealand in October.

Hadlee, a member of the famous quarter of all-rounders in world cricket in the 1980s, cautioned there shouldn’t be an overdose of pink ball Tests. “You try, it is the game of the future. Probably one Test in a series is fair enough. I think most people like to see the traditional format during the day, one-off Test (a series) during night every now and again is reasonable,” he said.

The maiden pink ball Test, between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide in 2015, seemed to have impressed Hadlee, who retired in 1990 with a tally of 431 Test scalps, the most at the time. “Even (if) that was over in three days, it was a contest between bat and ball. And that’s what you wanted. It was a wonderful spectacle,” he said.

“The only problem is clearly in some areas around the world, the dew factor. And that the ball could be affected and that is going to be a disadvantage particularly to the fielding team and in a Test match, you want to have those variances, variations in the game and that something needs to be worked through.”

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