New Delhi, Jan 5: Following the abrupt end of day 2 of the Test match between Australia and Pakistan due to bad light as overcast conditions hovered over the SCG, Usman Khawaja said that he would retire if Test cricket shifts to pink-ball from red-ball, claiming that pink ball is not a solution to prevent bad light stoppages.
On Thursday, with Australia at 2-116, chasing Pakistan's opening innings tally of 313, players and umpires walked off the field 40 minutes before rain added to the drama.
Umpires Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth, facing malfunctioning light meters, decided it was too dark to continue and called off a day.
The decision left the SCG buzzing with dissatisfaction as boos echoed around the ground when the players headed back to the sheds. On Fox Cricket commentary, former England captain Michael Vaughan proposed the idea of using a pink ball in dark conditions, but Khawaja dismissed it, emphasizing the distinct characteristics of the red ball in Test cricket.
“Pink ball is not the same as red ball. No bowler and no batter will ever tell you that pink ball is the same as red ball. It is not, it’s a different beast in itself. The red ball reacts way differently off the wicket, feels different off the bat. It acts different out of the hand," Khawaja said on Fox Sports.
"The red ball is Test cricket." When asked if playing all Test matches with a pink ball was the solution, Khawaja responded: “If it is, I’m retiring.”
Usman Khawaja, speaking after the match, acknowledged the darkness but deemed it a part of the game. He reminisced when batsmen often accepted offers to take light, asserting that the laws governing such decisions hadn't changed in a century.
“That’s just cricket. It’s been going on for 100 years. The Laws haven’t changed. Light is light. It’s a red ball. It’s still very hard to see the red ball. It’s still the same game," Khawaja said.
"When I first started cricket, the batsmen used to get asked, ‘Do you want to take light?’ and we took it 100 per cent of the time unless there was a result. So I reckon we were off a lot more in the past than we are now. Unless you can replicate the sun, I’m not really sure what (the solution) is," he added. (IANS)