“Test cricket played under lights with pink balls can bring the crowds back to Test cricket,” Former India captain and Sourav Ganguly is strongly backing pink ball for Test cricket for a healthy future of the conventional long format of the game. The BCCI technical committee head emphasized Test cricket with pink ball under flood lights to be the future and backed it to succeed in long run to bring back crowd to Test matches.
“Brightness was a lot better. This is here to bring people back to the ground. It’s all about marketing. Pink ball is the way forward. You have to find a way to bring people back to the ground. Everything needs a bit of innovation. Like nobody thought T20/IPL to be so popular till it came to being. We take time to get used to the changes but then realise that’s the best way forward. Yes, there will be dew in winter. But we face the same problem with white ball,” Ganguly is quoted as saying.
“It’s not about me being a fan of the pink ball. The idea is to bring back crowds to Test cricket and that’s the reason the Duleep Trophy is being played under lights and with the pink ball. The first pink-ball Test in 2015 between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide was house full. The recent Birmingham Test contested by England and West Indies drew big crowds too. So as an administrator, I would like to see packed houses for Test cricket.”Brightness was a lot better. This is here to bring people back to the ground,” he insists.
In fact Duleep Trophy, being played with pink ball, is also revived this year on Ganguly’s insistence after the tournament was shelved for the 2017-2018 season. Ganguly had taken up the matter with board’s committee of administrators.
“As far as Duleep Trophy is concerned, my view is very clear. How can you kill a tournament? It has to be discussed either in the working committee or the special AGM,” he was quoted as saying by Mid-day. “You can’t chuck away a tournament one fine morning. I do understand the packed calendar, but somehow we have found a window for this and we have to keep on trying to keep it significant.”
Ganguly as the State unit president, had made the Cricket Association of Bengal try out the pink ball concept in June last year during the (Kolkata) Super League final at the Eden Gardens. He favoured continuous trials with pink ball to be prepared whenever India decides to host a Test under flood lights.
The conventional cricket is already in search of it’s lost glory with the off-shoot of the shorter format. In India, the economic powerhouse of world cricket, TV ratings for Test matches slumped 38 per cent between 2012 and 2015 while the ratings for one-day internationals remained the same and for Twenty20 it rose by 228 per cent. Even when Virat Kohli makes a fifty in shorter formats, social media impressions are 10 times what they are in when he does the same in Test cricket.