Pink ball makes India debut today at Eden Gardens

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Pink ball makes India debut today at Eden Gardens

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Arun S Kaimal

06/18/2016

India will witness its first-ever four-day pink ball match at Kolkata's Eden Gardens today in the inter-club final between Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore Club. The match hosted by the Cricket Association of Bengal could turn out to be a possible precursor to a day-night Test match in India.

A local cricket league final in Kolkata will catch the attention of cricket enthusiasts in India for the next four days with the pink ball making an appearance in the country for the first time. Cricket Association of Bengal, which is headed by former India captain Sourav Ganguly, has put in all its efforts to build up interest around the match with Star Sports telecasting the match live. Apart from the pink ball, Indian Test regulars like Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammad Shami will also be in action at the Eden Gardens.

With India keen to host a day-night Test soon, the merits and demerits of playing with the pink ball are expected to come to the fore during the four-day match.

Brett Elliot, group managing director of Kookaburra Sport, the manufacturer of the pink ball, is among the people overseeing the preparations at the Eden Gardens. He mentioned that the pink ball has undergone considerable changes after its initial appearance in the first-ever pink ball Test between Australia and New Zealand, last November.

"Previously the seam used to be green in colour. But Aussie captain Steve Smith found it difficult to follow the seam under lights. Hence, we have changed it to black now to make it more prominent," he said, reported the Times of India.

The match will start at 2.30pm with three sessions being played in the day. A second new ball will be taken after 75 overs, and in case of any weather interruption, the match can be extended by up to one hour.

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