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Pink ball experiment gets mixed reaction

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Alison Mitchell | 15:45 UK time, Tuesday, 13 September 2011

On a chilly, windy September night in Canterbury, there was little evidence to suggest that pink ball day/night cricket could boost audiences for the County Championship, but perhaps another step was taken towards the first ever day/night Test match.

As far as boosting attendances, there was nothing to suggest that the 500 or so spectators huddling in a sheltered stand or sipping hot coffee from behind the comfort of a glass window in the restaurant wouldn’t have turned out to watch Kent versus Glamorgan in their end of season dead rubber anyway, but it was intriguing to gauge how the pink ball, black sightscreen and free entry for the ‘night’ session for the England and Wales Cricket Board’s pink ball trial would go down with both players and supporters.

Floodlit, long form cricket is the brainchild of John Stephenson, the MCC’s Head of Cricket, who believes day/night Test matches could be the way to boost attendances in countries around the world who have struggled to fill their grounds in recent years.

It has been trialled in Abu Dhabi for the MCC v County Champions curtain raiser for the last two years, and a number of matches in the 2nd XI County Championship have also used a Kookaburra ball with a bright pink lacquer.

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