Cricket: Seddon Park testing ground for pink ball

By David Leggat

A new version of the pink ball will be trialled at Seddon Park in a day-night match next weekend. Photo/Getty.
A new version of the pink ball will be trialled at Seddon Park in a day-night match next weekend. Photo/Getty.

Pink ball plans continue to move forward in New Zealand cricket.

The unlikely setting of a Fergus Hickey Rosebowl game between Hamilton and Waikato Valley at Seddon Park next Friday and Saturday will be the testing ground for the newly minted pink ball.

And the idea of a pink ball test in New Zealand next summer, against high-powered South Africa, remains a possibility.

New Zealand Cricket had to abandon plans to play a full round of Plunket Shield matches, starting last Saturday, due to lighting problems at one of the three locations, Napier's McLean Park.

However, a new version of the pink ball used in the inaugural day-night test between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide late last year will be trialled at Seddon Park in a day-night match.

It differs from that used in the Adelaide test in that the stitching is black and immediately stands out more easily than the green stitching from the test ball.

"We're very keen," NZC general manager of cricket Lindsay Crocker said yesterday.

"Northern Districts are keen to continue to press Seddon Park's claims [to host the first pink ball test in New Zealand] and we're delighted and it keeps the momentum going."

ND chief executive Peter Roach said the Hamilton and Waikato players were happy to use the pink ball and endorsed Seddon Park as "a terrific venue" to move the pink balls trials a step forward.

NZC chief executive David White had talks with his South African counterpart Haroon Lorgat at the last International Cricket Council chief executives meeting.

Are you interested in playing a pink ball test in New Zealand next summer, was the essence of White's pitch, even though New Zealand may not have had a full trial round of first-class cricket. "They certainly didn't discount the idea," Crocker said.

New Zealand have a busy summer coming up. There are visits from Pakistan before Christmas, Bangladesh through the holiday period, a home three-game ODI series against Australia -- to follow one in Australia before Christmas -- and South Africa as the main fare to round off the season.

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