June 11, 2020 / 5:17 AM / a month ago

Cricket: Smaller ball, shorter pitch recommended to transform women's game

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Women's Third One Day International - England v New Zealand, The Fischer County Ground, Leicester, Britain - July 13, 2018 New Zeland's Sophie Devine celebrates scoring the winning runs Action Images/Jason Cairnduff/File photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - New Zealand captain Sophie Devine has recommended using a smaller ball to make women’s cricket more attractive, while India’s Jemimah Rodrigues believes a shorter pitch is another innovation worth exploring.

The ball used in women’s cricket is slightly smaller and lighter than the one used in the men’s game but Devine favoured “a little trial and error” and see if that worked.

“I think if we are stuck with traditional formats, we’d be missing out on a lot of new players, new kids, new athletes to the game,” she said in an innovation webinar organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“I’m probably a big fan of looking at a smaller ball, but keeping the pitch the same size, where I think pacers are going to be able to bowl quicker, spinners are going be able to turn the ball more,” the all-rounder added.

Rodrigues saw merit in a shorter pitch to speed up the game and win more fans.

“We can also be open to (a shorter pitch), try it out,” said the 19-year-old.

“If that is going to help the game improve and take it to the next level, then why not?”

“We want to get more people to watch the game and more people to even join the game. So, yeah, I think it is a good idea.”

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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