KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
Founded in 1787, Marylebone Cricket Club is the most active and famous cricket club in the world and owner of Lord's Cricket Ground - the Home of Cricket.
© Copyright 2014
MCC Secretary & Chief Executive, Keith Bradshaw, says the MCC v Durham match in Abu Dhabi, trialing pink balls, could be part of the process to save Test cricket.
Bradshaw was speaking before the historic match at the Sheik Zayed International Stadium in Abu Dhabi, where MCC take on the County Champions Durham, using pink balls, under floodlights.
Listen to the interview (4.0 MB)
Audio courtesy of BBC Newcastle
"This is all targeted at trying to find a solution and a ball for day/night Test cricket." Bradshaw said.
"We felt that, not so much in England, that Test crowds are diminishing and, for us, Test cricket is what it's all about.
"We've been doing a lot of research and development and we think [with pink balls] we've found a solution that certainly worth a trial.
"We've tried [pink balls], in daylight, on a lush, green, outfield at Lord's - so this should be completely different.
"If we're going to trial it we may as well trial it under some of the harshest conditions in the world. Coming here to Abu Dhabi, under lights - the ball will get a good cracking!"
Speaking about MCC's global reach, including moving this match to the Middle East, Bradshaw said:
"We feel our role is not just at Lord's or London or even just England. We feel we're, if you like, the conscience of the game.
"We're a neutral, indepedent body and we want to lead the thinking about the game but also protect the game too.
"One of the reasons behind this trial is to examine the balance between bat and ball. We don't want to create a situation where the game is different to when it's played during the day."
The challenge has always been, and it's one of the reasons the white ball discolours, that the dye isn't infused into the leather. Leather absorbs the red dye in a way it doesn't absorb other colours.
"We engaged a number of consultants and Imperial College and have developed the technology to enable colours to be infused into the dye.
"Therefore, when the shine's knocked off the ball it retains the colour a lot better.
"We're looknig at other colours, like yellow and orange, but we think the pink ball could be the answer."
Follow the MCC v Durham match with Lords.org