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India gears up for first-ever pink ball Test: Everything you need to know

ANALYST
Feature
Published Nov 20, 2019
Nov 20, 2019 IST

Eden Gardens
Eden Gardens

All eyes of the cricketing world are focussed on Eden Gardens in Kolkata as India gears up to host its maiden day-night Test match against Bangladesh from November 22. While concerns over the pink ball remain as it is very much an unexplored territory in India, the excitement is palpable.

It may be recalled that in 2018 BCCI had refused to play a day-night Test in Australia. However, with eight Test-playing nations having already featured in five-day games under floodlights, it was only a matter of time before India joined the bandwagon. The Eden Gardens Test will, in fact, be the first day-night encounter in the longer version of the game for both India and Bangladesh.

The India-Bangladesh Test at Kolkata will be the 12th day-night match in the history of Test cricket. Australia are the most successful team in day-night Tests so far having won all their five matches under lights.

Here’s a brief look at everything you want to know about the first-ever Day-Night Test in India

Timings

The timing of the Eden Gardens Test has been fixed as 1 pm to 8 pm. This specific timing was requested for by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) keeping in mind the dew factor in the night during winter, and BCCI has agreed to the same. The first session will be from 1-3 pm, the second from 3:40-5:40 pm, and the final one from 6-8 pm.

Sellout crowd

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, on Tuesday, informed that tickets for the first four days of the first-ever day/night Test in India between the hosts and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata have been sold out, "It's sold out and I'm extremely happy,” Ganguly confirmed to the media. Earlier, the Cricket Association of Bengal, had tweeted that over 50,000 spectators are expected for the first three days of the historic Test.

SG pink ball debut

Pink ball to debut in Tests in India
Pink ball to debut in Tests in India

The pink SG ball will be used for the first time in a day-night Test. Till date, there have been 11 day-night Tests, and all have witnessed either Kookaburra and Dukes pink balls being used. Even the pink balls used in India during the Duleep Trophy were manufactured by Kookaburra. The main reasons for using the SG pink ball is because the first Test was also be played with the SG ball, and playing the series with two different balls wouldn’t be a feasible option.

Famous names set to witness history

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will jointly ring the Eden Gardens bell ahead of the historic day-night Test. CAB secretary Avishek Dalmiya confirmed the same to the media.

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As per media reports, among the famous personalities who have confirmed their presence for the momentous Test include Sania Mirza, PV Sindhu, Abhinav Bindra and Mary Kom. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been invited for the Test. The CAB is also planning to felicitate members of the maiden Test between Bangladesh and India in 2000.

Two of India’s greatest cricketers and former captains Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar will also grace the historic occasion.

Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman
Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman

During the dinner break on day one, CAB will organise a chat show featuring legends Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble, who will discuss India’s famous 2001 Test win over Australia at Eden Gardens.

Toss and mascots

As part of the celebrations, Army paratroopers will fly into the Eden Gardens to hand over a pink ball to the two captains Virat Kohli and Mominul Haque prior to the toss.

Pinku and Tinku have been revealed as the official mascots of the India vs Bangladesh day/night Test.

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