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India’s first and world’s second ‘pink-ball match in the history of women’s cricket

The Indian women’s cricket team is all set to compete with Australia in its maiden day-night Test from September 30 to October 3 this year. This will be the first-ever exposure of India women’s cricket team with pink-ball cricket in a day-night Test match. 

With this, India will become only the third women’s team to make their day-night Test debut after Australia and England, who were involved in a pink-ball Ashes game in 2017. The match ended in a draw.

The pink-ball Test between India and Australia will be only the second such match to be held in the history of women’s cricket.

The match will be played in Perth, which hasn’t hosted a day/night game as yet, Cricket Australia said after BCCI secretary Jay Shah made the initial announcement.

“Taking forward our commitment towards women’s cricket, I am extremely pleased to announce that Team India @BCCIwomen will play in their first-ever pink-ball day/night Test later this year in Australia,” Shah tweeted.

The Indian women’s team will further ahead play its first Test in seven years from June 16 in England and then will compete in another one during the tour of Australia. India last played a Test against Australia in 2006.

The team will also play three ODIs (from Sept. 19 to 24) and as many T20Is (from Oct. 7 to 11) Down Under.

England and Australia are the only two teams which regularly play Test cricket, mainly against each other in the Women’s Ashes.

Going forward, India will also be seen playing the longest format against the two teams.

“As players, we’ve said for a long time that we’d love to play more Test matches,” Australia captain Meg Lanning said on Wednesday.

“It’s an exciting prospect and I know (India) are heading over to England to play a Test match pretty soon so it shows they’re up for the challenge and really willing to play that format.”

The schedule:

ODIs: Sept. 19, North Sydney Oval (D/N); Sept. 22, Junction Oval; Sept. 24, Junction Oval.

Test: Sept. 30-Oct. 3, WACA Ground (D/N).

T20Is (all at North Sydney Oval): Oct. 7, Oct. 9 & Oct. 11.

Here’s what BCCI Apex Council member and former captain Shantha Rangaswamy say: 

BCCI Apex Council member and former captain Shantha Rangaswamy welcomed the forthcoming Test cricket for Indian women and hoped that the board will organise a domestic pink-ball tournament before the day-night Test in Australia. 

“BCCI has been planning on certain tournaments for women cricketers in the last year. But time and again plans have gone haywire because of the pandemic. It is heartening to note that the board has planned a Test during the Indian women’s tour of England,” Rangaswamy told PTI.

“I firmly believe the ultimate barometer is the longest format. To add to this, a day-night Test against Australia has also been announced which should be highly appreciated.

“However, as Indian women don’t play red-ball cricket even in the domestic circuit, it is advisable for the BCCI to conduct a pink-ball tournament in India before the players embark on the journey to Australia,” she added.

“It is also nice to know the Indian men will be playing in Sri Lanka (in July). It will be good if a women’s team is also sent to Sri Lanka,” she suggested.

“This will be a good way of increasing the standard of the bench strength. I am making all these suggestions as a former cricketer,” she added.

 Here is all you need to know about the pink cherry and why it is used only for day-night Tests: 

1. Pink ball is used to play day-night Test cricket. Pink ball is used for day-night Tests as it is easier to spot. The regular red balls can give the batsmen a tough time under the lights.

2. Pink balls tend to generate early movement and are usually pace-friendly. Kookaburra manufactures pink balls all around the world barring India, England, West Indies, and Ireland.

3. There is an extra coating of lacquer on the pink cricket balls to ensure the gloss and shine of the cherry are not lost easily.

4. The Indian Men’s cricket team first reluctant to play pink-ball Test later played their first day-night Bangladesh in November 2019.

5. The leather used for a pink ball is coated with a pink pigment and the ball has a black seam. It usually takes up to 3–4 days to get the gloss right in a pink ball. The pink ball is also known to move under lights making life difficult for batsmen.

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