Ball manufacturers need floodlit Test decision

The world’s oldest manufacturer of cricket balls has urged administrators to make a decision on floodlit Test matches. In December 2009 the then-ICC President David Morgan said he believed the new format would be introduced within two years.

But in an interview on Monday England managing director Hugh Morris said he’d prefer a more cautious approach and demanded further trials. The sticking point remains the colour of ball to be used that is easy for batsman, fielders and spectators to see under lights.

Both pink and orange balls have been tested extensively in different forms of cricket around the world in the last five years. And now Dilip Jajodia, whose company Duke has been hand-stitching balls since 1760, said it was time for the talking to stop.

He said: “It’s a mixture of politics, a lack of knowledge and red herrings about the finish on the balls – but they need to get on with it. I find it frustrating that there is no cohesive conversation between the people who make decisions and the people who make the balls.

“The administrators are being pulled in several directions by one set of manufacturers with an agenda and another with another agenda. What they should do is make a decision and tell the manufacturers what they want to do.”

Speaking on Test Match Special programme on Monday, Geoffrey Boycott also urged the authorities to make progress. He said: “If you’re selling something to the public you have to change to what the public want, what they can afford and when they can go.”

MCC is currently testing a pink ball in university cricket, which was also used in first-class cricket in Pakistan this year. Cricket Australia has tested both colours in recent seasons and are said to prefer orange. But TV companies claim it leaves a ‘comet trail’ on the screen.

Jajodia added: “They ought to take a leaf out of the book of the amateur game, where they have been using coloured balls with no problem for years now. It has been proven in several kinds of cricket that it doesn’t affect the way the game is played. They need to get that into their heads then we can move forward. But we can’t force their hand, we can only make suggestions.”

Robin Hutchison is a freelance cricket journalist

About Robin Hutchison

Robin Hutchison is a Midlands-based sports Journalist and PR consultant. He is a regular contributor to The Cricketer magazine and currently pens their monthly betting column. He also contributes articles to a number of national newspapers including The Sun, Daily Star, Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express and is the author of The Tinman: The Ted McMinn Story.
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