Cow Corner

Cricket’s in the pink

Cow Corner

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Yesterday, the MCC took on Scotland at Lord's in a 50-over friendly match as part of an experiment to discover whether a ball painted pink will retain its colour for longer in one-day matches.

The thinking is to develop a ball that shows up better than the red ball against dark skies, but that doesn't collect the grass stains that mark the white ball as another faceless Kolpak batsman smears a cut to the cover fence.

Apparently, the experiment was "encouraging" - although even by county cricket's standards, there were few there to witness it. The crowd was skimpier than an IPL cheerleader's hot-pants in the heat of a Delhi summer.

Former county trundler John Stephenson, one of the men responsible for overseeing the pink ball's development and who captained the MCC side against the Scots said: "Having bowled with the ball I can say it behaved normally..."

Which is to say that his military-medium-pacers were dispatched to the boundary with suitable force and regularity.

One-time England spinner Min Patel, who also played, agreed: "Once I became used to a pink ball whizzing past me in the slips, I almost forgot about its colour."

"Almost forgot" about its colour? How long can it really take to get over the fact you are playing with a pink ball? And what in the name of the Horwich Sunday School League was Min Patel doing in the slips anyway?

Even in his prime, Min Patel made Monty Panesar look like Jonty Rhodes.

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With fears that the pink ball might swing like a boomerang seemingly allayed, Cowers can't help but feel a little bit of sympathy for one England bowler.

Especially when Dr Anthony Bull, part of the team of boffins from Imperial College London working on the project, claimed that the pink ball could travel "20 percent further off the bat".

No swing? Flies through slips? Rockets off the bat? Surely the beginning of the end for poor Jimmy Anderson...

Still, Jimmy can take heart that his name was not the most conspicuous in yesterday's 26-man England Performance Squad for the summer.

Steve Harmison? Really?

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INAUGURAL "THIS IS PRECISELY THE SORT OF COMMENT THAT SEPARATES COW CORNER READERS FROM EARLY DOORS READERS" AWARD GOES TO: G_Hine, for this impressive piece of swelling off in response to a question about the usage of "sic": "Basically Latin for 'thus' but used to ridicule poor spelling or incorrect word usage in reproduced text without the person reproducing the error being thought of as incorrect. It does not, however, prevent people from rightfully thinking that said person is a pompous pedant." Indeed, my friend.

TALKING POINT: The greatest Pink: Floyd, Ladies or Panther?

COMING UP: Let's face it: no-one is shelling out £10-a-month to watch Setanta, so the next-best way to follow the IPL fireworks is with us: Hyderabad Deccan Chargers v Delhi Daredevils from 2.30pm...

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