The Duleep Trophy, named after Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji of Nawanagar, is India’s premier domestic 4 Day competition, usually played between geographical zones of India. This year though, the competition is modified and is not going to be zonal, but is to be played among India Red, Blue & Green teams.
The schedule for this tournament was announced earlier this month and the predominant news was that of Raina, Yuvraj, Pandyaand a few others missing out from Indian T20 squad to play against West Indies in USA.
But, what was not highlighted, was the fact that, for the first time,a domestic 4 Day tournament is to be played under lights, with a Pink Ball. BCCI has had a history of not being too open to new experiments. They were hesitantabout the Twent20 format in the beginning, they are still reluctant with Decision Review System (DRS). However, to everyone’s surprise, BCCI welcomed the concept of Day & Night Test matches and decided to experiment in this year’s Duleep Trophy
This would be highly competitive domestic event as the selectors have picked Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir to lead the three teams respectively and the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Robin Uthappa, Ashok Dinda, Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel, Ambati Rayudu all participating.
It is an open fact that the players are highly enthusiastic about the idea of Day & Night Test. Hence, the selectors have diligently added Test specialists, Pujara and Vijay, to the squads. It is also likely that, India Test Captain – Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin might join towards the later stages of the tournament, after they are back from the tour of West Indies and USA.
All of them would get first hand experience to pink ball and Day & Night environment. Ideal preparation for their possible first Day & Night Test match to be played against New Zealand later this year.
It is really encouraging to know that BCCI is excitedabout this idea, but they would be closing keeping a watch and seek answers to some crucial questions
Is Day & Night the future for the Test Cricket?
Will the Pink Ball last the 80 overs?
What about the visibility of the ball in the sub-continent in the Night?
Will Due be a factor?
It would be heartening to see most of the super stars participate in the premier Domestic Competition and more so,under lights, with the Pink Ball. The Cricket enthusiasts all around the world would be hoping this experiment in India Domestic circuit would be a big success, because, it is no secret that if BCCI likes something, the game, in general, would be the biggest winner, Commercially.