ABU DHABI // The experimental pink ball will be tested for the first time under floodlights in Abu Dhabi today when the touring MCC play an Abu Dhabi XI in their first official tour game at the Zayed Stadium (2.30pm). The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will also test the pink ball in their traditional season-opening four-day match between the MCC and the county champions Durham at the same venue, also under lights, on March 29.
It is the first time the English season-opener is to be played outside Lord's and it will help determine which colour ball best stands out under lights with a background of players in white clothing and with white sightscreens. "The pink ball will be used in all the matches during the tour and a report submitted at the end of the tour to the UAE and Oman," said Matthew Jackson, the managing director of ArabianCricket.com, the MCC's tour organiser to the Gulf.
"This tour is one of the four tour programmes of the year undertaken by the MCC to take the game to different parts of the world. We start in Abu Dhabi following the recent signing of an agreement between the Abu Dhabi Cricket Club and the MCC." The touring MCC side, made up of seasoned club cricketers and young academy players, will play a series of games in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Al Dhaid in the UAE, as well as Oman.
After today's game the tour itinerary consists of Tuesday's match with the UAE at the Zayed Stadium and against a Sharjah XI at the Sharjah Stadium on Thursday, both day-night games start at 2.30pm. The MCC play their final match in the Emirates in Al Dhaid against a UAE Under 21 side before flying to Oman to play a Twenty20 match on Sunday. email@example.com