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Stephenson delight at pink progress Published: 02 April 2012

MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson has declared his support for the improved Kookaburra Generation 5 pink ball and pushed for further trials to take place.

Stephenson was speaking in Abu Dhabi in the aftermath of MCC's Champion County defeat at the hands of Lancashire.

It was the third time the pink-ball, day-night format has been used since its inaugural outing at the same venue in 2010, with manufacturers working on producing a hard wearing ball which retains its colour for 90+ overs.

I think we got a lot out this match," said Stephenson.

"The newly developed pink ball went well; everyone thought it was easily visible and very durable.

"You can definitely see the development of the ball from three years ago – it’s gone really well.

"The seam colour has changed and is more visible after feedback from the players so that’s another positive.

"Having talked to the players, they love the ball, they can see the ball really well.

"Getting used to the different nature of the format is a challenge for them.

"Now we need to conduct more trials around the world to keep it moving."

Day-night, first-class cricket has taken place in the West Indies, Pakistan and the UK since the first match in Abu Dhabi.

Rahul Dravid, among others, has pushed for authorities around the world to step up trials of the format in order to discover its full potential, with the hope of playing a day-night Test match in the near future.

Twilight

The area of the game up for the most discussion has been the twilight period, between full daylight and the lights taking effect.

Stephenson acknowledged the concerns, but doesn't see the period as anything other than a 'nuance' in the game.

He added: "I think we’ve got to think about the twilight period, because if it really shifts the balance of the game and compromises the integrity of the game then obviously we’ve got to address that issue.

"But at the moment, the way I look at it is that it adds another nuance to the game and an interest to the match and players are working out tactically how to negotiate that period.


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