RCA set to follow in the footsteps of CAB by hosting India's second pink ball match
Following the outstanding success of the first ever pink ball cricket match played in India which saw Mohun Bagan Athletic Club beat Bhowanipore at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata in the final of the Cricket Association of Bengal’s (CAB) Super League tournament from June 17-20, the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) has announced that the final of their premier tournament will also be played under lights.
Similar to the Super League final, the summit clash of the Colwin Shield, the premier inter-district cricket tournament in the state which begins on July 12, will also be a four-day affair. Though the match might not feature prominent stars as it did at the Eden Gardens with Indian internationals Mohammad Shami and Wriddhiman Saha turning out for Mohun Bagan, who won the match convincingly by a margin of 296 runs, the RCA officials are hopeful that cricket fans will flock in big numbers to the RCA Academy ground, the venue of the final.
The announcement for the first ever pink-ball game in Jaipur, which is ironically nicknamed “The Pink City”, was made by RCA secretary Sumendra Tiwari in a press conference held at RCA Academy on Saturday.
With the magnitude of the event having wide-reaching consequences, the who’s who of the RCA were also present at the media gathering including the likes of RCA vice president Amin Pathan, executive secretary RS Nandhu, joint secretaries Vinod Sahran and Nirpjeet Singh, secretary of DCA Sikar, Subhash Joshi, and secretary of DCA Ajmer, Gunjan Sharma, among others.
Despite the overwhelming support pink-ball cricket has garnered ever since the first ever Day-Night Test was held between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide in November 2015, players, past and present, have expressed concerns about the durability of the pink ball, especially in sub-continent pitches where dew becomes a very important factor under lights.
Earlier on Saturday, Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene and Australian finger spinner Steve O’Keefe became the latest to convey their thoughts on why playing pink-ball cricket in India might not be a good idea. While CAB president Sourav Ganguly, who is a staunch supporter of pink ball cricket, procured specially designed balls for the Super League final from Australia, the RCA said that the pink balls for the Colwin Shield final have been brought in from the Indian city of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
As a measure to help the cricketers view the ball better, especially once its gets deteriorated, Tiwari said that both sets of players will be wearing white strips as per the tradition for first-class games, while the sight screen will also be made white for the special match.