Australia, New Zealand Set For Day/Night Test In 2015?

Floodlights are used in Tests but not as yet to enable play when it gets dark
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia and New Zealand could play a day/night Test as early as next year following meetings between Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in Melbourne.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given its support to day/night Tests being played between members that support the initiative.

CA and NZC chief executives James Sutherland and David White met during the ICC Annual Conference last week to discuss the idea.

New Zealand will tour Australia in 2015, where it is proposed that a day/night Test will take place for the first time.

"We are serious about pushing ahead with the concept of day-night Test cricket,” Sutherland said.

"We feel it will only strengthen the position and possibilities for Test cricket in many parts of the world.

"There are many Test matches played during non-holiday periods when adults are at work and kids are at school.

"That’s not an ideal way to promote the highest form of the game. In fact there isn’t a major team sport in the world that schedules the majority of its premium content during the working week.  

"We’re not talking about playing the Boxing Day or New Year’s Test at night. The summer holiday period in Australia really lends itself to Test cricket, but at other times of the year it can be difficult for fans to attend or watch Test matches, be it here or in other parts of the world.

"That’s really at the heart of the issue. The challenge is to try to make Test cricket more accessible for fans."

White added that NZC would be doing all they can to move the idea forward, including research into the balls that will be used.

"Australia continue to assess conditions to ensure they are appropriate to stage Test cricket at night, and we fully support that duty of care," he said.

"Ensuring the ball behaves as closely as possible to the red ball is vital for the success of this initiative.

"We’re scheduling a trial fixture in the upcoming season so we can examine more closely issues such as dew, and its affect on the condition of the ball."

Results of experiments around the world with different coloured balls have so far been mixed, but the MCC plays the champion county each year in the United Arab Emirates as a day/night fixture.

"The discussions on day-night Tests started in 2008 and I’m pleased that after the ICC Board gave its thumbs-up during the 2012 annual conference and following extensive trials and debates, we are now at stage when two of our Members are contemplating playing the first-ever day-night Test," ICC chief executive David Richardson added.

"The MCC and some of our Members, including Cricket Australia, have trialled pink balls in different conditions and the feedback indicates that significant improvements have been made to the quality of the ball."

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