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White ball best for day/night Test matches, says Karsan Ghavri
A number of changes have been introduced by the ICC in all formats of the game, which includes day/night Test matches, lbw decisions, powerplays, and no ball ruling, in order to sustain and grow interest in the game of cricket.

THE GENTLEMAN'S game, Cricket, has undergone a lot of changes since the game was born. Earlier, it was only Test matches, which used to be played among a few nations, but as many nations started to pick up the bat and ball. Similarly, different formats were introduced such as ODIs and of late T20, which has revolutionised the game.

In the process, the game has gone commercial as well. So the heads of the game are in constant lookout to make some fresh changes that would help in the overall development of the game. Likewise, the ICC has made a number of changes in all formats of the game, which range from lbw decisions, powerplays, no ball ruling, dead ball if the ball hits the spidercam, increase in number of short pitched deliveries per over and the most significant of all is the green signal awarded for day/night Test matches with effect from Sri Lanka-New Zealand series starting today.

It would be interesting to watch players play Test matches during night, which has not happened at the international level. But, it has to be agreed by boards of the respective teams playing the match and it is the same boards, who would also decide upon the colour of the ball, schedule as well as the type of ball.

Karsan Ghavri, a former Indian cricketer, reacting to this new development, told this citizen journalist , “White ball is the best ball that can be used for such test matches. The white ball is also used in both the T20 and ODI formats, and it also lasts longer. But, in several countries, pink ball has been used as an experiment.

Another former Indian coach and a batsman, Anshuman Gaekwad, told this citizen journalist, “These day/night games are going to be different from ODI's. It is going to be played continuously for five days under light. Due factor would also come into play.” It is only after nations start playing day/night games, that the the pros and the cons of the format would come to be known, till then, we can just speculate. Other decisions such as point of impact on lbw dismissals has also been amended to bring about a fair judgment for both sides.

During the 90s, there used to be field restrictions for 15 overs on a trot, which was later changed to 3 powerplays, and now it has been changed to two powerplays, with first 10 overs as mandatory and another powerplay of five overs has to be taken before the 40th over of the game. “It is a give and take where both teams have advantages as well as disadvantages. It is 50- 50 for the fielding and bowling side,” added Ghavri. With this decision, it might be the bowlers, who would look a happier due to the number of powerplays, which gave the batsmen a chance to score more runs.

The ICC must have brought smiles upon the faces of fast bowlers with some decisions in their favour this time and empowered them as bowlers have the luxury of bowling two bouncers per over from the normal one. Gaekwad said, “One bouncer per over is a handicap for bowlers.” Now with such a rule, the bowlers can keep the batsmen guessing after bowling a bouncer in the first two balls. But, the sqare leg umpire plays a pivotal role here by judging the bouncer – if it is over the shoulder or not.

The role of third umpires has also seen a slight increase as they can communicate over the talkie to the on-field umpires, who might have failed to spot a no-ball and judged the batsmen out, without the onfield umpires asking the third umpire to look into the matter. Gaekwad said, “Most of the decisions are referable to third umpires, so why not this one?” Minor changes has also been made like, if the ball hits the spidercam (camera which moves over the field in a horizontal and vertical position) during matches, it would be declared as a dead ball.

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