There was a passionate discussion at the AGM on the topic of colored clothing and white ball. When it was time to vote, the initiative was narrowly defeated. The argument made by those who wanted to remain with the white clothing was the following: 1) White clothing is traditional and represents “pure” cricket. 2) The White ball won’t last 40 overs. 3) The quality of cricket will suffer if we go away from the red ball.

The second argument has credibility and is a legitimate debate point. The first point, not so much. The third point is debatable. Maulesh Laudya argued that the world would never progress if we maintained status quo in everything. Dawood Ahmed stated that, “we talk about being in line with ICC and international standards, and then we don’t follow the norms that ICC and international cricket follows. Currently, no international ODIs are played in white clothes and with a red ball. Only test cricket is played this way.”

Those who raised the point about the viability of the white ball for 40 overs have a legitimate argument. But this too was countered by the proposal to use two white balls simultaneously. Of course, it would increase the cost per game, but that’s the price one has to pay if you want to adapt to a new environment. The cost increase (for using 2 white balls in a game) will probably be around $200 per team. If enough teams are okay with this cost increase, then this is a non-issue.

Another point that some raised was about teams not having uniforms for new players. Well, as far as I’m concerned, that’s just an excuse. If you look at all sports played in the United States, in all the recreation leagues, be it soccer or football or baseball or lacrosse or volleyball, everyone is required to be in the appropriate uniform when they take the field. Just because its “easy” for someone to be in a “white” uniform, it is not a good enough reason to not go to colored clothing. Teams will need to learn to adapt and anticipate and make sure that they have extra uniforms available for new players.

Personally, I have no preference one way or another if we play in white or colored. I play for fun and this is a recreational league and I’m okay playing in either type of clothes and/or using either type of ball. The league, however, appears to be divided evenly on this issue. Some players that play in the PD had this to say, “Some of us aspire to play at a higher level (regional and national level). When we go for trials or play in national tournaments, we are severely disadvantaged because those games only happen in colored clothing, using a white ball.”

Granted, this is a very small number and we can’t be focusing on these players since more than 95% of the players playing in the league will not be playing cricket at the national or international level. However, there is no reason why each division can’t decide for themselves what is best for them. Just for your knowledge, here is the breakdown of PD teams’ preference:

Wishing to play in colored clothes with white ball: Cosmos, Tigers, Boyds, Dulles, Titans

Fine with either the white or the red ball: Vikings, Zolon

Want to play in white clothes with red ball: AFCA, UMBC, Virginia, Kensington

No Data (information): Nitro

Empirical data suggests that the other two divisions are similarly divided on this issue.

The Solution

As you can see, it is fairly divided across the board. So what is the solution? I think the solution is that we stay with the white clothes and red ball for this year. However, the league should play two 40 over games (per team) with colored clothing and white ball so it can collect data about the ball, and see how the games go. The league should use two white balls per innings in these matches. With every team having an opportunity to play two games, the teams will be in a very good position to decide for themselves if this is what they want for 2015. The league will also be able to analyze the performance of the ball and then decide if this initiative should be adopted for the entire 40 over season from 2015 and what type of white ball it should use.

Since all teams have colored clothing, for the t20 season, it should not be any problem for the teams to play two 40 over games. I would suggest that these two 40 over games happen immediately after the t20 regular season (which is scheduled to be in the middle of the season next year). This way, the players will already be used to playing with the white ball and in colored clothing. Playing two games, out of 13/14 games, should not be a big issue and allows every team to make an informed decision for 2015.


 

1 Comment

  1. Ghias says:

    I think we are missing the point here, we are giving the example of all international cricket is playing in colored clothing and white balls. we are basically comparing oranges with apples? Do we side screens? Are we playing in flood lits? Instead we are mostly playing in low graded grounds and summer of intense heat and bright sun shine.
    The argument about getting new uniform as per requirement? Is in the white is uniform. We are 99% weekend warriors who play cricket for fun so why we are comparing with international level.

    Cheers
    my too cents.

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