Ok we are talking Changes in first class cricket here. Coming back from the Abu Dhabi match Will, Durham’s Captain has been thinking and deciding what might be good change and what might not. As we know not all change makes things better.
Re the County Championship, at present he is not in favour of a three conference structure, he does not beleiver it “would work that well.’’ He does however seem impressed with the pink ball.
The ECB have also been thinking about change. They tend to think of it in a more abstract way than most mortals. And when Mr Collier is on the record as saying ” the cost of a new-look County Championship will be the loss of some of the integrity of the two-division structure.” you realise that betterment of the sport is not at the heart of any thought processes going on at ECB towers right now.
Durham have comfortably won the pink ball experimental match against the MCC by 311 runs. Neither the pink ball, day and night or flat track conditions managed to hinder Durham’s wicket taking abilities. Very much business as usual even in the desert!
It might have been more interesting if the MCC could have got together better than division 2 level opposition, considering that gathered together for the event teams tend not to to do as well as established ones.
The ball seems to have posed few problems for Durham, and so far the comments about lights and picking up the pink ball have been favourable.
The experiment has brought up some interesting points not only about how the ball could be improved but also how dimming daylight can be used tactically in a first class match.
In only his second first class match Scott has taken 8 wickets for Durham. A trial match perhaps, but he might be a bit useful then?
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh, stood out in the MCC side as being the most able to cope with the Durham onslaught. Tim top scored with a mighty 55 not out.
In the MCC match the colours were reversed to those in this picture – Tim wearing white and the ball being pink!
Day 3 of the pink ball match and Durham’s ‘Mr Invisible’ Callum Thorp gets his highest first class run score of 79 not out*, and that with a triceps niggle too – what a hero!
*In that link there is also a short interview where he talks about the pink ball and the match.
Keith Bradshaw says his bit on his fears for the future of test cricket. Does this mean that the MCC is going to go all out to lobby for the future of Test and first class cricket in a meaningful and effective way? Or is he just positioning the MCC prior to the pink ball tests as a being a major player within the sport for media and marketing purposes only.
A spot of assertive lobbying for the Championship and first class cricket in England to the ECB might be useful too? Should one hold one’s breath? Only if they see it as a useful stepping stone to world re-domination. Suspect that could be a no then. Especially as they seem to be spearheading current thinking to play early season Championship cricket outside of Britain.
*IUCN Red List conservation status: a vulnerable species is a species which is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve.
For your delectation here are some blury photographs illustrating the fabulous florescent pink cricket ball, well two types even. They are blurry because the light was rubbish, and so was the photographer on this occasion. Two makes of pink ball were trailed on a dull April day. The MCC bowled with the Kookaburra ball [picture above] and Scotland bowled with the Duke and son ball below.
Below is the bog standard duke ball under similar light conditions, as bowled by the very wonderful Mr Tendulkar.
The Pink ball is fab. Yes really! You can see it for a start. The Duke is more pink the Kookaburra is more fluorescent orange looking and highly visible from a distance. These luminescent balls were generally popular popular with the spectators I spoke to on the day.
Despite this ECB staff seemed to be wearing a blindfold at the time, the balls made no difference to them.
Here is the first of the player feedback that I have seen from Abu Dhabi on the current pink ball trials. Pink balls have also been trailed in Australia for some time.
Geoff Cook looks forward to the forthcoming Abu Dhabi trip. Here he is at last years MCC v the Champion County fixture held at the home of cricket, Lords. The blurry form with him is the teams physio, Nigel, a busy man right now.