CA to set up commission to find cricket ball for night Test

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Sydney, Dec 17 (UNI) Having met opposition from cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra on their ambitious project of Test cricket at night, Cricket Australia has decided to commission a study into finding a revolutionary new ball which could be sighted under lights.

The major stumbling block to CA's idea of ending 130 years of history and turning Test cricket into day-night contests is the red ball which cannot be seen by players under lights.

There are also problems with the white ball used in one-day internationals, which would mean a yellow or orange-coated ball would need to be developed.

CA chief executive James Sutherland wants a conclusive report before the day-night idea is canned.

''I think it's important we do that. I think it's important we take the best possible advice,'' Sutherland was quoted as saying by Herald Sun.

''I can't see any reason why you at least can't ask the question.'' Sutherland said the ball wouldn't necessarily have to be of the traditional leather kind.

''There is a lot of fantastic things going on now with synthetics where they can actually change in their form,'' he said.

''Who are we to exactly know what may work? Let's ask the question of the technological experts.'' Sutherland, who wanted day-night Test cricket to be trialled before the end of the decade, said it would first have to be ticked off at domestic level.

Meanwhile, former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy felt day-night matches could work and yellow balls should be tried out.

''It (the ball) is the problem at the moment. I did play two games in Perth with a yellow ball.

''Domestic cricket started with an orange ball, almost a fluorescent, it almost had a bit of a flare behind it in sunny conditions.

''They went to a yellow one which performed extremely well. This yellow ball that Kookaburra got up, performed well and stayed in good shape for the whole 80 overs.

''I think they should be going back to that one. I didn't have any problems with the yellow ball,'' he said.

If day-night Tests do become a reality, Healy suggested the Adelaide Oval would be the appropriate venue to break with tradition.

''I can envisage the Adelaide Test match, Australia-Day weekend, as a day-night Test match,'' Healy said.

''I think that wicket is going to stay the most consistent from afternoon to evening. That's the one to pick. I wouldn't do it in Perth, I wouldn't do it in Brisbane because it would be too lively at night with the new ball.

''The atmosphere would be perfect, the viewing audience would be massive but you would have to give the players a week leading into it to get their time clocks right.

''It's a difficult thing for players to sustain five days at night.'' UNI XC PDS DB1215

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