Kolkata: In a first for India, a four-day first-class match will be played with pink balls under lights at the Eden Gardens next month.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has decided to introduce pink balls in the final of the Challengers tournament for the SK Acharya Trophy, a meet comprising two teams from the Bengal Ranji squad and senior teams from Jharkhand and Orissa.
The tournament is normally a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Ranji Trophy.
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Confirming the development, a CAB official said the idea was to outbid Cricket Australia's (CA) efforts to host a first-class match under lights during the Sheffield Shield in the coming Australian summer.
Last week, CA announced that the ninth round of the Sheffield Shield would be day-night matches and played with pink balls. The matches are expected to be played in early March next year.
"The final of Challengers Trophy is scheduled from October 1-4 at Eden Gardens. If we successfully host it, it would be the first time in India that a pink ball is used," said a CAB official.
Experimenting with the pink ball has been on for some time in England and a few other countries. It isn't however the first time that a first-class match will be played under lights in India. The idea was implemented in April 1997, with Gwalior hosting the Ranji final between Mumbai and Delhi.
In the CAB Challenger Trophy, white coloured clothing will be used. "We want to see how pink balls behave under lights. We have already placed orders at Kookaburra who are the only company to produce match-quality pink balls," said the official.