Channel 7 commentator Ali Mitchell offers pink ball solution after bad light stops third Test at the SCG


Channel 7 commentator Ali Mitchell has offered a solution to the bad light problem that spoiled Day 2 of the third Test between Australia and Pakistan.

Lights were on at the SCG and the conditions were gloomy, but play was halted at 2.20pm AEDT before an early tea break was taken, and then play was officially called off for the day.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Player called off due to bad light.

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The decision to take players from the field was met with boos by the crowd and criticism from former players.

But Mitchell threw up the possibility of switching the ball to a pink one, like they use for day-night Test matches, in a bid to keep the game going.

“I would like to take the conversation to the pink ball, which seems appropriate we’re at the Pink Test. We play day-night Test cricket, there is a pink ball which is usable, is approved, everyone is happy to be playing in Brisbane at the back end of this summer with the pink ball,” she explained on Channel 7.

“So, when we have bad lights, can we have a box of used-worn pink balls, and then we switch from the red to a pink ball of similar age and we can just get on with the match.

“I know it would change things; it’s going to behave differently. We had a change of ball at the Ashes, at The Oval – that was a red ball change, and it did change things. So it is happening in the game anyway. This would keep the game going.”

McGrath (right) agreed with Mitchell’s (centre) idea. Credit: Channel 7

Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath thought the idea had merit.

“It’s not a bad idea. It’s all about keeping the game going,” he said.

“We’ve got 25,000 plus people sitting in the crowd, it’s not raining, fair enough it’s a little overcast, but they want to see a game of cricket.

“Us in the commentary box, we want to see a game of cricket, and the players want to be playing half the time as well. I think whatever it takes to get the game going, keep the game moving forward and people watching.”

Mitchell added that batters could have a quick net session with the pink ball in the event of a sudden change.

“I’m sure the batters would say we can’t just switch suddenly from red ball to pink ball,” she said.

“Maybe you would have to mandate 30 minutes for the batters to go off, have a bit of a net and maybe when you switch to the pink ball you mandate that you stay with the pink ball for the remainder of the day and reassess for the next day. The pink ball is there, let’s use it under lights.”

MATCH CENTRE: Ball-by-commentary, scores and all the stats from Australia v Pakistan

Former opening batter and ex-Australia coach Justin Langer was furious with the call to halt play.

“It is so frustrating,” Langer said on Channel 7.

“I have walked in all the shoes as a player and batsman. You want to be off and want perfect conditions. And then as coach you want what’s best for your team.

“But when you look at the big picture, it is crazy these guys aren’t playing Test cricket here.

“You have a big crowd here, they have come here for David Warner’s last game.

“It is the pink Test. It is a competitive and combative Test match, and yet we’re walking off the ground.

“It’s not great for the game of cricket this is happening right now.”

Bad light Credit: Getty Images

But Australian great Ricky Ponting offered a different take.

“I’m stuck in my ways with this. If it’s not perfect light, you shouldn’t be out there,” he said on Channel 7.

“I know they’re set with the lights now. But I still think, ask the batting team what they want to do. It used to be that way. It should go back to being that way.

“Really, in a situation like this, the batting team is the only team that’s got something to lose. So I would go back to considering asking the batters again.”

During the break for bad light, rain started falling and play was eventually called off.

Australia were 2-116 in reply to Pakistan’s 313 with David Warner dismissed for 34 in his farewell Test.

Usman Khawaja (47) was the other batter out, with Marnus Labuschagne (23 not out) and Steve Smith (six not out) to resume on Friday.

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