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Australia opener Rogers tested by pink ball trial

November 7, 2014

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia test opener Chris Rogers was forced Friday to withdraw from a day-night first-class cricket match which will trial the use of a pink ball, because he is color blind.

Rogers’ Victoria state and Tasmania were due to participate in the four-day Sheffield Shield match which will be used as a trial to determine whether the pink ball might be effective in future day-night test matches.

The 37-year-old was withdrawn from Victoria’s team on the day of the match because his color blindness makes it difficult for him to see the pink ball. Cricket Australia moved quickly to assure Rogers his place in Australia lineup for the first test against India from Dec. 5 is not in jeopardy because of his color blindness.

Victoria coach Greg Shipperd said it would have been unfair to ask Rogers to play in the match against Tasmania when he had such limited practice against the new ball which is pink with green stitching.

“It’s not conclusive at this point in time that he can see it with any confidence,” Shipperd said. “We would need a longer period of preparation with the pink balls to get him at least comfortable that he’s able to compete and do himself, and the team, justice.”

Cricket Australia high performance manager Pat Howard said Rogers should not be concerned that his withdrawal from Saturday’s match threatened his test place for the four-match series against India.

“The selectors have reiterated that no player is judged on one match,” Howard said. “The four-man selection panel rate players on their consistency over a period of time and particularly their ability to perform in pressure situations.”

Rogers has averaged 36.06 in 16 tests and 33.25 this year and said he did not believe his setback Friday affected his test chances.

“I’ve played more first-class cricket than just about anyone in the world this year, so I don’t think sitting out one match for Victoria will affect me too much,” he said. “I just haven’t had the opportunity to practice with (the pink ball) because I’ve been playing so much.”

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia will bar the use of most fireworks at Twenty20 matches after Australia T20 captain Aaron Finch was nearly burned by a flame-throwing device during a match against South Africa on Wednesday.

The device was accidentally set off as Finch was fielding a ball on the boundary and he narrowly avoided injury.

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