Monthly Archives: April 2010

pink balls anyone?

Cricket authorities have been experimenting with pink cricket balls. A cricket match in Abu Dhabi used new pink cricket balls for a game that took place under floodlights.

 The argument is that the traditional red ball used in cricket, being of a relatively deep shade is hard to see under night conditions even with floodlights. The recent experiments seem to have been a success. John Stephenson, Head of Cricket at MCC (the world’s most famous cricket club), said “We have proved that the pink ball is clearly visible in day or night conditions and that day/night first-class cricket is a viable option for cricket administrators. Certainly the pink ball itself could be improved – such as by darkening the seam so batsmen can pick up the spinning delivery – but I don’t see an insurmountable block to progress.”

It’s not a view necessarily shared by the ICC though. The ICC is the International Cricket Council. “The MCC has been great in initiating trials around the world, but before we look at these projects we need to establish up front, from a scientific point of view, what makes sense,” said Dave Richardson, the ICC’s general manager of cricket. “The balls that have been developed so far are still a long way off being able to last 80 overs,” he added. “They just get too dirty. The beauty of the red ball is that it keeps its colour even when it’s old.

The ball shown below is a pink ball after 14 overs (that’s 96 deliveries for the non-cricket-aware colour lovers).

For further information see –

 A pink ball was used for the first time in a match in England on 21 April 2008 in a match between an MCC XI and Scotland. See

physical and perceptual colour?

Consider the image below:

The four grey patches in the centre of the four squares are phsyically the same. If seen in isolation (or against a common background) they would look the same. So are the grey colours the same or different? 

Some people would argue the two greys are really different (this is convincing because after all they look different). However, others would argue that they are the same colour – it’s just an illusion that they look different because of the background and context. Which is right? Actually, I think both are correct. The former would be talking about perceptual colour and the latter would be talking about physical colour. Part of the reason that colour is so complex and that there seem to be so many ideas that clash is that colour is not very well defined. When people talk about colour they are sometimes talking about different things. I am wondering whether it would be really helpful to develop more formally the ideas of physical and perceptual colour.

In case on your screen the greys look more similar that they do on my screen I append another example of colour contrast below.

In this example, there are only two physical colours (red and green) or three (if you include white). However, perceptually there are two reds and two greens.