April 23, 2008

Pink Balls: used for the first time in cricket. A trial to see if a single type of ball is suitable for all forms of the game.

posted by owlhouse to other at 11:37 PM - 15 comments

I have no problem with pink balls. I bought my mother a pink mother's day Louisville Slugger last year. I have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to Cricket rules. Wish I did actually. Whats' next? Pink pucks for the NHL? Pink soccer balls for the World Cup? Perhaps pink footballs for the NFL?

posted by GoBirds at 01:30 AM on April 24

It's been done, 'Birds.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:07 AM on April 24

The W.H.A. used a red puck for a while in the 1970's.

posted by tommytrump at 08:17 AM on April 24

Don't forget golf balls in the glorious assortment of day glow: pink, yellow, orange and green. I believe Slazenger introduced a baby blue ball in their women's line as well.

posted by Tinman at 09:13 AM on April 24

For that matter, is anyone old enough to remember when tennis balls were white? Well...white until you'd played with 'em a bit, then they were gray.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:18 AM on April 24

lbb - so you're the other geezer out here. I thought I was the only one. In fact, my first skateboard had wheels made of brick. No joke.

posted by Tinman at 10:33 AM on April 24

I had completely forgotten that tennis balls were white at one point. Back in the old rubber balls days, every bowling ball was black.

posted by dbt302 at 10:33 AM on April 24

Pink balls? I think there's an antibiotic salve that will help. OK, to be serious, when I actually tried to play golf, I could never use a red ball. I am red-green color blind, and the red ball would simply disappear on the green grass. I did find that yellow showed up better than white, though.

posted by Howard_T at 10:58 AM on April 24

Perhaps if any of us Yanks understood cricket...

posted by Tinman at 11:22 AM on April 24

I gathered from the article that it wasn't the color that was the issue, rather the property of the color that allowed it to be absorbed into the leather. Admittedly, the rules of cricket are as mysterious to me as what lies in the great beyond, but I had no idea that seeing the ball was such an issue. Or that it takes an inordinate amount of time to replace a ball. And I would like it noted, for the record, that I made no smart-ass comment about pink balls.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:56 AM on April 24

Laws of cricket, not rules of cricket. Cricket isn't really that hard to understand; I'm an American and I've never played it and have only had a few chances to watch it but I'm learning. Mostly you have to unlearn your baseball assumptions and learn the strange vocabulary. The laws of cricket are arcane but are not really all that complicated. Historical note: the cricket ball is traditionally red. Two hemispheres of red leather joined at the equator by a seam of stitching. IIRC, the white cricket ball came along recently (ie, last 20-30 years) for One Day Internationals and night matches, to have a ball that was more visible under lights. Up until recently (ie, within my lifetime) cricket wasn't played at night. In fact, cricket players traditionally wore white and colored uniforms didn't come along until the same time as white balls and ODI and night matches. Cricket has changed a lot in the past several decades. Someone more conversant in cricket can correct me if I've erred on the details above.

posted by dave2007 at 07:09 PM on April 24

You're pretty much spot on, Dave. Traditionally, cricket is played with one ball for each team's innings, although it can be replaced after 80 overs (or around 240 deliveries), but this is optional for the bowling team. The older the ball gets, the more it moves around and the better it grips, so it is possible to change bowling strategies depending on the state of the wicket, the weather, and the performance of your bowlers. The red ball is used in Test matches, held in daylight hours and with all white uniforms for both teams, and there is a white sightscreen on the boundary behind the bowler's arm to aid visibility for the batsman. This is fine, because as the ball gets dirtier and older, the batsman can still see it clearly against the white of the sightscreen and the fielders' clothing. When matches at night were first started (limited overs, not Tests), a white ball was used with a black sightscreen and players wore coloured uniforms. Unfortunately the white ball wears into a black colour, and a different ball is used from each end to ensure visibility. This means teams are restricted as to what type of bowling can be used - the ball swings and spins less. Thus the issue of consistency of colour is important from the point of view of using one ball for the whole innings, balancing the battle between bowler and batsman, and hence sometime in the future playing Test matches at night.

posted by owlhouse at 11:57 PM on April 24

Er, 80 overs is more like 480 deliveries. Sorry, my maths isn't good after a long day on the golf course...:-)

posted by owlhouse at 04:11 AM on April 25

Crickets have pink balls? Geez, I never seen that on the Discovery Channel. That must be painful.

posted by BornIcon at 06:57 AM on April 25

They are always rubbing their legs together, after all.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:15 AM on April 25

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