KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Rahul Dravid has urged the cricket world to embrace the pink ball, day/night format after his century helped MCC beat Nottinghamshire in the Champion County clash.
Dravid bounced back from a first innings duck to make 106 to set up MCC’s 174-run win in the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Three wickets each for Toby Roland-Jones (3-49) and impressive Afghan fast bowler Hamid Hassan, who finished with match figures of 7-127, helped MCC on their way.
Two century partnerships from the lower order threatened to stall MCC as Notts briefly threatened to chase down the 467 required for victory.
But spinners Gary Keedy and Mohammad Nabi took two wickets each and Hassan the winning wicket to secure victory for MCC.
Dravid is a member of the MCC World Cricket Committee which put forward the suggestion of playing day/night first class and Test cricket.
The India batsman enjoyed his first experience batting against the pink ball and believes the format has a future - if it is embraced by the cricketing community.
"As with any new innovation administrators and the players will need to take a leap of faith at some point." said the 38-year-old batsman.
"I think there is definitely a future if people are going to have to have an open mind to it."
MCC took the initiative to move the Champion County match to Abu Dhabi for a second consecutive season.
Despite some issues, the day/night matches have been deemed a success and Dravid would like to see more experiments in the future.
He added: "It was a new experience batting against the pink ball under the lights. I never found sighting the ball under the lights a problem at all.
"There are some things which need to be looked at - for example the twilight period and dew which can be a problem in some parts of the world.
"But there is definitely a future for day-night Test and First-Class cricket.
"I think there are a few further tweaks that need to be made, and it would be beneficial to play some more trial matches at different venues and in different conditions as well."
Dravid tours England this summer with India for what he admits could be the last time.
He made the first of his 150 Test match appearances at Lord’s in 1996 where he made 95 - still his highest score at the Home of Cricket.
His association with MCC has continued through the World Cricket Committee where he is the only Member still playing the game at international level.
Dravid said he was unsure how things would develop after finishing his playing career, but was confident the MCC Cricket Committee would play a part in his future.
He said: "All I can say is that I’m closer to the end than the start.
"I’m not really sure what the future holds but MCC, and the World Cricket Committee in particular, is a great thing for me to be involved with because there are some absolute legends of the game involved.
"As a current player, to hear their voices on the current game and what needs to be done for the game was an attraction. It also means I get to come to England and Lord’s every summer!"