3 Nov 2015

Fears allayed over pink ball tracking

2:04 pm on 3 November 2015

The company responsible for running Eagle Eye, the key tracking device component of cricket's Decision Review System (DRS), has at last given the pink ball its tick of approval.

Up until the most recent day-night Sheffield Shield fixture between South Australia and New South Wales at Adelaide Oval, where the pink ball was used, bosses at Animation Research admitted they were having trouble tracking the controversial ball.

But after testing the program on the ground where the landmark Test match will be played, those fears have now been alleviated.

"We had a lot of concerns after doing testing down here (in Dunedin), but actually under the conditions that were there and the pitch that was laid it was really encouraging," head of Animation Research, Ian Taylor told ESPNcricinfo.

The Shield fixture at Adelaide Oval presented the company with its first opportunity to test its tracking device with a pink ball under proper match conditions.

The pink balls which will be used in the inaugural day-night test in Adelaide.

There is now confidence the pink cricket balls can be tracked to the required standard to use DRS. Photo: Photosport

Previously, Animation Research's only testing had been carried out on a plastic pitch under lights where the ball was torn to shreds and their hopes didn't increase when the pink pill met the same fate at Manuka Oval in Canberra during the Prime Minister's XI match.

However, on a pitch tailor-made for the pink ball, the results were far more encouraging for both the program and the ball itself.

"It was never just about the pink ball, it was about a whole combination of elements. The pitch was designed for the pink ball so that it maintained its colour much better," Taylor said.

"It definitely worked - we'd had no trouble tracking a pink ball in our testing, but once it lost colour it was very difficult.

"But on the pitch they'll be playing on in Adelaide it stayed pink ... It's a huge relief."

The DRS system was first introduced into Test cricket in 2009 and is now used and accepted by all countries with India being the major exception.

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