MCC plans pink ball trials in one day game

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LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) The colour of balls used in the English one-day game could change from white to pink if trials by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), guardians of the laws of cricket, prove successful.

''Paint tends to flake off white balls and we have asked (manufacturers) Kookaburra to produce a batch of pink ones because these show up so much better,'' MCC's head of cricket John Stephenson told today's edition of the Times newspaper. ''The challenge is to produce a ball which retains its colour.

''My aim would be to use the pink ball in Twenty20 cricket in 2009 and thereafter in one-day international cricket but this will be dependent on trials and what the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) thinks.'' Stephenson said the plan was to experiment with the pink ball in second XI and university matches next season.

Kookaburra has developed a batch of pink balls which will be used in Australia's women cricket this season, said the Times.

Former England captain Mike Gatting, the ECB's managing director of cricket partnerships, said: ''We must always push the game forward and ensure we have the right equipment.

''We have tried white and orange balls and perhaps pink ones will last longer. This is a very interesting and very wise development and a colour may have been found that is easier on the eye.'' REUTERS SBA RAI0537

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