With Pakistan set to participate in their maiden day-night Test next month, captain Misbah-ul Haq has called for the cricket community to back the innovation and increase the number of floodlit matches.
Despite numerous concerns regarding the durability of the pink ball and other factors such as dew coming into play, the veteran believes that those could be overcome with time.
The 42-year old felt, “Future belongs to night Tests and this should be played frequently. It's a good thing that PCB increased the number of day-night games in domestic cricket and each team will be getting two games or so this season. If the future is with day-night Tests, then we have to play it more often and we have to start embracing it quickly. Like we play one-day cricket with white ball, and this pattern had been adapted everywhere in domestic and even in club cricket.”
He added, “Meanwhile, there are problems whether it's a pink or orange ball for batsmen and fielders so far. These issues can only be sorted by playing more cricket under lights with pink balls. Since the game is played for the fans and for the audience, this night cricket is the future and it's definitely good for cricket. The more frequently we play under lights, it will give more exposure and allow players to get used to it.”
So far, there has been only one day and night Test which took place between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide last year. Pakistan will get a taste of the concept when they host West Indies in the upcoming 3-match series at UAE with the opening game scheduled to occur under lights in Dubai from October 13th.
Apart from that fixture, the first Test in their Australia tour at Brisbane will also be a day and night contest.
With Pakistan’s traditional strength revolving around reverse swing and spin bowling, they might have to tweak their thought process to a considerable extent as pink ball Tests could force curators to leave lavish amounts of grass cover aside from working extensively on the lushness in the outfields.
Dew-filled conditions at certain subcontinental venues should present another concern.
Up for the challenge, Misbah quipped, “We will have six to seven days before the first Test, so we have to train maximum under lights with pink ball and try to understand the conditions.”
“We have to adjust to the timing of the sessions understand how the ball will travel under lights, how much the ball will swing under lights and how much the dew factor will be affecting it. If you see, the major chunk of the Test is in night. So, it basically isn't really a day-night Test and we have to start working from scratch.”