Taufel impressed by pink ball trial at Lord's

Umpire Simon Taufel has been impressed with the pink ball that's being trialled by the MCC.

updated: May 14, 2009 12:08 IST
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International Cricket Council's Elite Panel umpire Simon Taufel has been impressed with the pink ball that's being trialled by the Marylebone Cricket Club, after he officiated in the MCC v MCC Young Cricketers match at Lord's on Wednesday.

However, he wants to wait and see whether the ball, which could be used in future if Test cricket is held under lights, as is being mulled over by the international cricket authorities, can last for 80 or more overs.

"It (pink ball) looks pretty good. There was a little bit of a comet trail to it but it certainly gave me a lot more information off the pitch and off the seam.

"My view was you could probably see it better than a white ball. Now we have to look at the duration of that ball. Will it last the 80, 90, 100 overs?," he told the Lord's website after umpiring in the match for 10 overs.

Taufel, who has officiated in more than 50 Tests, had been invited by the MCC, the custodians of the willow game's Laws, to officiate in the match and took time off from his assignment in the ongoing Indian Premier League in South Africa to visit England.

Taufel, who is set to rejoin IPL today, said he saw after the pink ball became 40 or 50 overs old it did not get discoloured like a white ball that's used in day-night one-day cricket.

"It's mainly because of the discolouration of the (white) ball hitting the surface. With this (pink) ball we don't see that problem. I have seen a ball that's 40 or 50 overs old -you don't get the same sort of discolouration. From that perspective it's certainly a better colour," Taufel said.

But the top international umpire is not sure how swing and spin bowlers will be affected by the use of the pink ball because the ball colour is not because of a dye but due to lacquer.

"What's it going to change (for) a swing bowler, or someone who uses shine as a method of competing in the game? Spinners -- how do they feel about it? Can they grip the ball because it's still not a dye, it's still a lacquer? Does that change the way we'd play Test cricket? That's something I'm conscious of," he told the Lord's website.

About the possibility of playing Tests under lights, he said that cricket officialdom has to respond to the changing markets as in some parts Test cricket still attracts high spectator attendance and TV ratings and in others it does not.

"I think what we have to do is respond to the changing markets that we're seeing. In some parts of the world we're seeing Test cricket as very alive and flourishing -- we're seeing high spectator attendance and high TV ratings.

"But in some parts of the world, with some participants that's not the case," he said.