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Watling: Pink ball behaves like a white one under lights

New Zealand’s cricketers have had a change of heart about the pink ball to be used for the first-ever Day-Night Test next month, after training with it under lights in Hamilton this week.


Pink ball

Wicketkeeper BJ Watling said the ball behaved much like a white ball does at night, and said he was ‘excited’ to be part of a historic cricket match, which will be played against Australia in Adelaide.

There had been concerns about the pink ball, despite it being trialed in the Sheffield Shield and in England, with Kiwi paceman Trent Boult saying it felt like a hockey ball when coming out of the hand.

But Watling was generally pleased with it, saying on Thursday: “I didn’t really catch any off the pitch today just a few drills. I couldn’t see the seam that well but we’ll find out tomorrow.

“It felt very similar to a white ball. Under the black sky it felt like a white ball, where you lose a bit of depth perception.

“The temperature is a bit different in Hamilton than what it will be in Adelaide in seven weeks, so there are a few factors we have to take into consideration.

“There is a lot of work being done with this pink ball and I am just trying to get my head around it. It’s very exciting and the guys are looking forward to it.

“It is good to start getting your head around the situation now, the boys are very excited. We have a first-class game and a couple of warm-up games before the first red-ball Test so there is plenty of red-ball stuff.”

If the Test in Adelaide goes well, New Zealand Cricket have said they’d like to play a day-night Test on home soil too in future.