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Warwickshire League in the pink for Test warm-up

THE Warwickshire Cricket League will use the pink Dukes cricket ball for a round of league fixtures in the build-up to the historic first England day/night Test match at Edgbaston.

The pink Dukes ball, which will be used in England’s day/night Investec Test against West Indies on 17th August, will also be used in the Warwickshire League's Premier Division – including Studley - and Division One fixtures on Saturday 24th June.

Two days later, the same type of ball will be used in a full round of day/night Specsavers County Championship matches, including Warwickshire v Lancashire at Edgbaston.

Graham Seal, general manager of the Warwickshire Cricket League, said: “Dukes has been a partner of the Warwickshire Cricket League for several years and this trial will give players in our top two divisions the opportunity to play a competitive round of fixtures with the Test match ball.

"We are pleased to be working with Dukes to support the development of the pink ball and look forward to receiving the post-match feedback from the players from the fixtures.”

Last season more than 4,000 cricketers featured in the Warwickshire League, which has 90 clubs in its 18 divisions and is a feeder to the Birmingham & District Premier League.

Dilip Jajodia, managing director of Dukes, said: “We are very grateful to all partners in supporting the development of the pink ball and are very excited to extend opportunities to the recreational game thanks to the support of the Warwickshire Cricket League.

“The development of the pink ball has been ongoing for several years and the feedback received in last summer’s trial at Edgbaston and in other fixtures has been excellent. We’re very excited to be taking it to first class and international cricket this summer.”

As part of the development of day/night Test cricket in England, Warwickshire CCC staged a Second XI Championship match against Worcestershire in day/night conditions last August, using both the pink Dukes and Kookaburra ball to see which fared best in English conditions.

Dukes was subsequently chosen for the Investec Test match following feedback from the players and match officials.

Neil Snowball, chief executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: “It’s great to see elements of this first day/night Investec Test match being incorporated into our local recreational game with the Warwickshire Cricket League agreeing to support pink-ball cricket.

“The concept has received excellent feedback from players, officials and spectators since the first day/night Test in Australia in 2015 and Edgbaston is proud to be the host of England’s first fixture after undertaking the trial match last summer.

“Edgbaston is known as a fortress for English cricket and we hope that this great run of form – with just one defeat in Tests since 2002 – can continue under the leadership of new skipper Joe Root in 2017 when they return to Birmingham on 17 August.”

Tickets for England versus West Indies in the day/night Investec Test are available by calling 0844 847 1902 or visiting www.edgbaston.com/tickets.

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