India's first pink ball match to be played at Eden Gardens
The Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata is reportedly set to host India's very first pink-ball match this month in what promises to be a huge step in the direction of India hosting a day-night Test match. As confirmed by CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) president Sourav Ganguly, the final of the Super League tournament will be played under lights from 17 June to 20 June. It is a local multi-day tournament in Bengal which concentrates on identifying talented players who can make it to the state's Ranji Trophy side.
Speaking to the Indian Express, Ganguly said, "Pink-ball cricket indeed is the way forward. Test cricket's popularity has been steadily declining and we must do something to arrest the slide."
He added, "The pink ball Test in Australia last year received an overwhelmingly positive response and we must embrace the change. The Super League final under lights is an experiment with an eye to hosting day-night Tests in the near future. I think it would be a very good experience."
BCCI President Anurag Thakur had confirmed earlier that they are looking forward to organise a day-night Test during New Zealand's tour to India later this year but wanted to discuss with the Sourav Ganguly-led technical committee before taking a final decision. Considering the steps being taken to bring pink-ball cricket to India, it is quite clear that the committee is also backing the initiative.
Unlike the usual trend of SG balls being used during matches played in India, a pink Kookaburra will be used for day-night games. Prior to its use in the first ever day-night Test in Australia, the ball was tried in their domestic circuit and drew quite a lot of criticism. Apart from that, the dew factor may also come in the way of using it.
Talking about the issue, CAB secretary Abhishek Dalmiya said, "Certain conditions are required for the pink ball to hold up for a substantial period. We have spoken to Kookaburra's subcontinent head and will follow the advice."