COLOUR CHANGE: Wallsend’s Cameron Roxby checking out the new pink ball to be used in the twilight Twenty20 round next month. Picture: Simone De Peak.THE pink revolution is set to colour Newcastle next month.
Hot on the heels of the inaugural day-night Test match in Adelaide in November between Australia andNew Zealand, Newcastle district cricketwill become one of the first competitions in the countryto host first-grade games with a pink ball.
Allround 11 twilight Twenty20 matches, played mid-week at No.1 Sportsground, will use a pink ball, coloured clothing and white sight screens.
The other two rounds of T20 cricket and the final will be played mid-afternoon on a Sunday with a red ball.
“The pink ballswere used in the Regional Bash final with coloured clothing and white sight screens and they worked very well,” Newcastle District Cricket Association chairman Paul Marjoribanks said.
“It’s also topical as we’ve just had a pink Test match and the logistics of black sight screens can be difficult, so we thought we’d try the pink balls.”
Twilight T20 cricket was trialled last season with games televised onBarTV. The Newcastle-basedsports live-streaming company will again broadcast the matches.
The feedback was largely positive, but there wassome criticism from captains over the 5pm starting time and seeing the red ball in twilight.
University eventually won the T20 final by five runs over Merewether.
“The feedback from last year was very positive about playing some midweek twilight cricket,especially as it takes away the burden of extra Sunday matches,” Marjoribankssaid.“The only negative being the visibility of the red ball in last few overs of the secondinnings. So hopefully the pink balls will improve that situation.”
Wallsend all-rounder Cameron Roxby is one district cricketer who is looking forward to using the pink ball in a game situation.
“I used them a couple of years ago at nationals andit was quite a good experience because they swing around a lot more, which is always handy being as bowler,” Roxby said.“It’s a good opportunity because that’s where cricket is going.”
Roxby missed a large part of last season through injury, including Wallsend’s twilight T20 loss to Toronto.
However, theCricket AustraliaCentre of Excellence student has enjoyed an impressivestart to the season by scoring 300 runs and taking 15 wickets. That places Roxby inside the top 10 on bothbatting aggregate and wickets.
Any notion thatT20 wasmerely “hit and giggle cricket” is denied by Roxby.The young Tigerviews the T20 competition as their best opportunity this summer to capturesilverware.
“We’ve spoken about it at Wallsend that we really want to put a good foot forward and make the most of the T20s,” he said.
“We’ve got a rather young side.We might not have the strength and power of other sides, but we’dreally like to give it a good crack this year at Wallsend.”
The opening match of the T20 twilight round will be played on Tuesday, January 12 between Belmont and University.