The red cherry will turn pink, the day’s play will conclude at night and the night watchman’s duty-hour will get curtailed.
No sooner did the announcement of the day-and-night Test match at the Eden Gardens on November 22 between India and Bangladesh came, social media went into a tizzy. Hashtags like #IndiavsBandaynight and @DayNightTest started trending on Twitter with many netizens lauding the decision to keep the “format alive” while several others expressing their reservations over the dilution of the “pinnacle of cricket” and the “true format of the game”. There were some who wondered if this spelt the end of the road for night watchman (a non-specialist batsman who is sent to see out the rest of the overs to protect the next recognised batsman when a batsman gets out near the end of the day’s play) and if Test matches during the day made people sleepy, what will happen in day-night Test matches.
Shyamraj tweeted from his @shymra784: “I am excited. Waiting to watch the first day-and-night Test match to be played on Indian soil.” @Criccrazyjonnes described it as a historical moment. “Save your dates, November 22nd is going to be in the Indian cricket history books. Eden Gardens will be hosting the first International day & night test match in India.” @iPrince85 was not so upbeat. “Not excited for the day-night test match. Test cricket wali feel khatam ho jayegi (It will take away the pleasure of watching a Test match).”
However, this is not the first time that something new is happening at the Eden Gardens. The stadium hosted the first World Cup final outside England in 1987. It also hosted the inaugural ceremony of the 1996 World Cup.
The first day-and-night Test match was played at the Adelaide Oval in 2015 between Australia and New Zealand with a pink Kookaburra ball.
“Test matches are struggling to attract the crowds. The fanbase has shifted to T20 cricket. In most Test matches outside England and Australia, the ground is not even one-fourth full. If we want to keep the Test format alive and produce good talent for future, we must adapt to changes,” said Mustakim Ali, an under-19 coach at a Maidan club.
Apart from the timings of the play (though it has not been announced yet but speculations are rife that only one session will be played under floodlights), another change will be the pink ball replacing the red ball which has evoked much curiosity on social media. @cricketbadshah tweeted: “The red cherry will turn pink. It is gonna be a slippery affair under floodlights with a lot of dew.”
Source: Times of India