Irani Cup tie in Gwalior likely to be a pink-ball affair

The Irani Cup tie between Madhya Pradesh and Rest of India, to be played in Gwalior from March 1 to 5, is likely to be a floodlit game. The Hindu understands that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had communicated its preference for a pink-ball Irani Cup match to the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) well in advance.

With the Dharamsala Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy having been moved to Indore, the home of MP cricket, the host association has been working on finalising the operational and logistical, including testing floodlights at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium.

The final decision on whether it will be a day or day-night game is set to be made later this week.

Should the pink-ball game go ahead as per the plan, it will be the first floodlit Irani Cup game. Besides, the return of First Class cricket to the home of Scindias after seven years will also mark the return of day-night domestic cricket action at the stadium.

The Roop Singh Stadium, famous for Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 200 in an ODI versus South Africa in February 2012, had hosted the only day-night Ranji Trophy final in 1996-97. The Ranji final between Mumbai and Delhi was played with red ball and coloured clothing.

This will be the second Irani tie of the season. The domestic season started with Saurashtra, the winner of the 2019-20 season, faltering against RoI’s pace attack.

Since Saurashtra was allotted the Irani game, which had to be postponed due to the pandemic, at the eleventh hour, Madhya Pradesh, the last season’s Ranji champion, will play its conventional affair against the Rest of India at the end of the domestic season.

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