On Friday the inaugural Day/Night cricket test starts in Adelaide. At the same time the first ever Pink Ball test starts.
At first glance the difference would seem to be one of semantics, but the subtleties of language have been used to convey how people are viewing the innovation. From the outset, this test has been strangely divisive.
The Pink Ball Test
The sceptics all call it TPT. It goes straight to the heart of the risk of the venture; bringing potential issues with technology to the fore. The pink balls may struggle to last the distance, but that hardly differentiates them from the red balls in this series.
They may also provide extra swing in the twilight hours as claimed in some quarters, but that is hardly a bad thing.
It also highlights the break from tradition, although it follows other traditional breaks from tradition such as the introduction of covered pitches to helmets.
The introduction of Steve O’Keefe to the Australian XII, apparently because he is a “Pink Ball specialist” (based on one spell of bowling) indicates that the mystique of this ball is being a little overhyped.
The Day/Night Test
This is the term used by those who think this is a good move. They point out it is test cricket moving with the times, note the more convenient viewing time; both here and Australia, and note with justifiable glee the reported ticket sales of Saturday of upwards of 40,000 people.
This test may be the first of an era of day-night test matches which brought test cricket to a new audience preferring the friendlier time-slot. It may also be a one-off experiment which did not go to plan, and featured 94 changes of the ball. We will have a clearer picture this time next week
Roll on Friday, in the afternoon.