BBC BLOGS - Alison Mitchell

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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Flower stays loyal to England

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Alison Mitchell | 11:34 UK time, Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Once Duncan Fletcher was appointed coach of India, there seemed little reason why Andy Flower would not continue his tenure as England Team Director.

The Zimbabwean has won successive Ashes series with England, and guided the team to a first global trophy at the World Twenty20 but still feels he has unfinished business - namely to take England to the number one spot in the Test rankings.

Flower was approached by India during the recent World Cup and was indeed tempted by the chance to work with the world champions, the chance to live in a different culture and of course the lucrative financial package.

However, Flower is a man of substance and despite his curious mind and appetite for a challenge, he made his decision to stay with England soon after returning from the sub-continent.

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In the middle of India's party

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Alison Mitchell | 17:02 UK time, Thursday, 31 March 2011

Driving back from the PCA Stadium to the players' hotel after India's thrilling semi-final win over Pakistan, our minibus came to a grinding halt.

Craning forward expecting to see another road block, we saw a small white car, which had braked and pulled up right in the middle of the crossroads where we wanted to turn right.

A teenage lad was riding on the roof of the vehicle holding aloft an Indian flag while a man in his twenties rode on the bonnet with a Punjabi dhol drum cradled in his lap whacking out a party beat.

Soon, out of every window of the car, came arms, followed by bodies, as the occupants waved and punched the air to the beat of the drum, whooping in delight at India's passage to the World Cup final.

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