As cricket stages its second day-night Test this week, factory workers in Pakistan will be among the avid television viewers — they might even have made the innovative pink balls being used by their heroes. Pakistan host West Indies in Dubai in a five-day/night Test featuring the pink ball, starting Thursday. It is a match that will be closely followed in Sialkot, the city that is the country’s sports manufacturing hub.
Pakistan’s sports goods industry is positioning itself to be the top supplier of the new pink balls aimed at dragging the traditional format — the five-day game — into the 21st century. “We are probably making 15,000 to 20,000 pink balls per year. The numbers of pink balls are growing,” said Khawar Anwar Khawaja, chief executive of Grays of Cambridge, who have been making cricket balls since 1953.