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Australia to trial coloured balls

December 29, 2008 11:27 IST

The unavailability of a suitable ball remains the only obstacle in Cricket Australia's grand plan to hold a night Test and in a bid to overcome the hurdle, CA will trial fluorescent balls in the domestic Sheffield Shield matches.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said the success or failure of the trial will determine how the Cricket Board proceeds with its plans of breaking away from tradition to hold night Tests.

Sheffield Shield has witnessed day-nighters in the '90s but the matches had to be stopped as yellow and orange balls lost colour and swung more than expected in the evening. But CA is all set to re-introduce the balls.

"I don't think we would be able to convince everyone around the table at the ICC that it is the way to go until it's been successfully piloted," Sutherland was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

"The most obvious place to pilot is going to be through our Sheffield Shield competition, do it all the different venues and really get a good feel for any issues," he added.

Sutherland said purists may scoff at the concept of night Test but CA considers it an innovation that will infuse life into the five-day format, struggling for spectators in most parts of the cricketing world.

"It might be the sort of customer-driven response that Test cricket needs in order to survive a long way into this century," Sutherland said.

"It's the right time for us to be investigating the idea, but it's probably a couple of years until it really becomes a reality," he explained.

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