There might be a dearth of SG pink balls with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at present, but President Sourav Ganguly wants board representatives to immediately speak to the company and get balls ready by the next 10 days so that both the Indian as well as Bangladesh team has enough time to prepare for the Day-Night Test which gets underway at the Eden Gardens from November 22.
Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that Ganguly wants a team to get cracking and ensure that there are enough SG balls prepared and handed over to the team by 10 days.
“Yes, the President is keen that we play the game with SG pink balls. A team has been tasked with connecting with the ball manufacturers and prepare international quality balls in the next 10 days,” the source said.
A BCCI functionary said that the real challenge will be to provide umpires with substitute balls.
“Had GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim ensured that we had domestic matches under lights, say knockouts of the Ranji Trophy or for that matter the Irani Cup, we would have had enough balls ready. But the whole idea was almost put into the boot of the car even though Ganguly did keep harping on it as Technical Committee head. There was no effort made.
“So now, when we have to provide for close to 48 balls — to the two teams, the match officials etc — where do we get them from? How about substitute balls if one ball is hit out of the park after 34 overs? You need a ball of almost same condition. Providing these will be the real challenge because the umpires won’t accept new balls.
“The players also need to be given some time to adapt to how the pink ball behaves and if there will be a different set of skill sets that will have to be brought in to ensure that they can get the ball to reverse and things like that. We must ensure that the ball is handed well in advance so that the players from both teams are comfortable when they take the field on the first day of the Test,” he explained.