When you've been around as long as cricket you stop caring what people think and start doing what makes you happy. This feisty old devil has shocked us with six-ball overs, five-day Tests and third umpires. It has challenged us with World Series Cricket, the Decision Review System and the hippest of its offspring --Twenty20.
Now the inaugural day-night Test match, starting today at the Adelaide Oval, will create history and, in every sense, place cricket's original masterpiece under the spotlight for all to see.
Who could have imagined Test cricket after dark? With a pink ball. For some it tugs at the very white fabric with persistent green grass stains of the game they love. Yet in reality, day-night Tests will follow a great cricket tradition of breaking with cricket tradition.
While the sport continues to wear down the opposition on its way to a well-deserved double century, it is worth noting that the secret behind such longevity has been a willingness to go on the offensive, rather than stubbornly occupy the crease.
The administrators responsible for this landmark event should be commended, not condemned. They have summed up the situation and delivered their verdict with the poise and timing of a Richie Benaud one-liner.
Day-night Test matches are good for the game because they are good for television ratings, good for pubs, and good for younger generations of fans, who surely want to watch their favourite sport at 7:30 pm weekdays more than they want The Block to remind them they'll never buy or renovate a dilapidated apartment of their own.
Kids can come to the game after school, adults can come after work, and students can come after they wake up in the afternoon, then leave in time to beat the nightclub door charge going up. Everybody wins except colour-blind batsmen like Chris Rogers. Fortunately the former Test opener saw the obviously not-pink writing on the wall and retired just in time. Awkward moment averted.
Despite initial feedback from some players and spectators suggesting the pink ball is hard to follow, the fact remains this is the first step in the right direction, allowing potentially thousands more spectators to struggle to see a cricket ball than ever before.
And unlike those woven polyethylene waterproof covers and an incomprehensible revised Duckworth-Lewis target, forward-thinking cricket fans did not come down in the last shower. We know today's controversy is often tomorrow's triumph. Just ask Kerry Packer.
Innovation of this magnitude is truly exciting. For five glorious days and nights the eyes of the cricket-playing world will be on Australia. Indeed, the first-ever day-night Test might just be the biggest event to hit Adelaide since the first ever regular Adelaide Test hit Adelaide.Suggest a correction