The R Premadasa Stadium, also popularly known as the ‘Khettarama’ has played host to many a titanic encounter over the years. One of the most memorable ones that come to mind if the India vs South Africa Champions Trophy semifinal of 2002 where the Men in Blue came back in scintillating fashion to register a superb win and book their place in the final.
Now the venue has created history by playing host to Sri Lanka’s first ever pink ball game, a four-day match involving Sri Lanka A and West Indies A, that began on Tuesday.
The pink ball experiment has been carried out in many Test-playing nations around the world. India tried it out in the Duleep Trophy last month, Australia had employed in their domestic competition, West Indies gave it a shot as early as 2010 when Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago played in a four-day game and it is now Sri Lanka’s turn to see how the experiment transpires.
“With the ICC planning to introduce day-night Test cricket in the near future we should be prepared to face the changes and not lag behind.We have been lagging behind other countries in experimenting with the pink ball, but a start had to be made somewhere,” K Mathivanan, Vice-President of Sri Lanka cricket said.
The West Indies skipper Shamarh Brooks said that the ones used for this tour were much brighter than those used back home by the men from the Caribbean.
"The balls we use in the Caribbean are a bit light in colour, these balls are brighter." he said.
His counterpart, Dimruth Karunaratne echoed similar sentiments to what Indian opener Gautam Gambhir had to say during the Duleep Trophy, stating that he found very little difference between the two when they used during practice sessions, but added that the colour of it faded away over a period of time.
"We have had few practice sessions with the pink ball and found it very much similar to the red ball.But with use, pink ball gets a bit strange and the colour fades,” said
As far the match was concerned, it was West Indies A, who won the toss and chose to bat and at the end of 80 overs, found themselves a 254 for 7 with Gudakesh Motie and Kemar Roach in the middle for the visitors.