A historic moment awaits the UAE, as it becomes only the second country in the world to host a Day Night Test match after Australia.
Pakistan play West Indies at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday 13th October from 3.30 pm until 10.30 pm in the 5 day match.
The unique format will also feature a pink ball instead of the traditional red ball used in test matches in a bid to draw in more crowds.
“To make it more visible and playing with it under the lights we need to have a different finish. So right up to the point where we put that finish on it’s exactly the same as the red ball. It will be a little bit more shinier at the start and it will stay that shine colour and players will recognise those small differences but I suppose that’s the trade off for getting more people seeing the game, more people being able to experience the game,” said Shannon Gill Head of Communication from the ball manufacturers Kookaburra Sports.
But there have been some modifications to the pink ball since it was first used in Adelaide between Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
“Some of the feedback from the players was that the green and white [seam] was not a great enough contrast on the pink [leather] therefore we tested with a black seam and the feedback was great so little things like that have changed and that contributes to hopefully what we’re seeing is a better product being rolled out,” continued Shannon Gill.
Both teams have been practicing under the lights using the ball and think they’re up for the contest.
“I think it’s a very good challenge. They are trying to encourage a lot more fans to come in and look at test cricket so that in itself is a positive. You know as players, it’s always nice to see a full stand and it gives you that sort of energy and that nice feeling to know that people come to look at you play so lets hope that all goes well. You know maybe it’s the future of test cricket or maybe it’s not but I think it’s just a matter of going out and playing yet another game of cricket,” said West Indies batsman Darren Bravo in an exclusive interview with Sports Tonight.
“Given the demands in time and the change in social behaviour, the purest form of the game is in danger, it’s under threat and I think day night cricket affords the opportunity for a lot more people to come and watch,” said Maqbul Dudhia, General Manager of Dubai Sports City when asked if this was the way forward for test matches.
The game on Thursday not only marks the second ever-International day night test with a pink ball but also the 400th match for Pakistan.
Misbah Ul Haq’s men had reached the 1st spot on the test rankings but not before being usurped by archrivals India with their series whitewash victory over New Zealand.
“For us it was a huge achievement [to go top of the test rankings], I think our players have done extremely well overseas as well. This ground [Dubai International Cricket Stadium] has been very good to us in getting that ranking but personally I think until we have an India versus Pakistan series the number 1 [test team] argument will always go on,” said Usman Iqbal Wahla, General Manager of International Cricket Operations at the PCB.