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Australia working to ensure day-night Test against South Africa - James Sutherland

Australia working to ensure day-night Test against South Africa - James Sutherland
James Sutherland believes day-night Tests will be the way forward.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland stated that the board is working along with Cricket South Africa (CSA) to ensure that the Adelaide Test match of the Proteas tour of Australia will be a day-night fixture.

CA has announced their international schedule for the 2016-17 season, which includes a day-night Test against Pakistan at the Gabba while a similar fixture against South Africa is yet to be confirmed.

Sutherland stated that he understands the concerns of the South African players and cited the enormous success of the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand to make his point.

“We are working with Cricket South Africa with a view to ensuring that the Adelaide test is a day-night test,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.

“There is some concern from the South African players, but...the success of Adelaide last year demonstrates the huge potential the day-night format has in revitalising test cricket all over the world, and it’s for that reason that it is our desire to stage another test under lights at that venue.”

Furthermore, Sutherland added that it was the right time to play day-night Test at the Gabba in Brisbane against Pakistan, given the holiday season and the favourable climatic conditions.

“Given the significance of the Brisbane test to Australian cricket, we have looked at ways to draw larger attendances for that match, aiming to attract crowds.

“We think staging it at the beginning of the holiday period when more parents and kids can get to the game is certainly worth trialling.

“We also believe that Queensland’s climate really lends itself to Test cricket in day-night conditions, making for a great fan experience.

“We’ve had a number of pink ball trials under lights in Brisbane and believe that the time is right to stage a Day-Night Test at the Gabba, adding another chapter to international cricket in Queensland.”

However, South African captain AB de Villiers expressed his concerns about the day-night Test after having spoken to the Australian players during their tour of South Africa earlier this year.

De Villiers reasoned that there were too many unknown factors in the day-night Test and added that the concerns over the longevity and the performance of the pink-ball were their key issues.

“At the moment we are not too keen on playing in the proposed day-night Test match due to a few concerns that have come from a number of sources involved in the maiden Test played last year,” De Villiers told South Africa’s Independent Newspapers.

“We had a meeting with Steve Smith and some of the Australian players when they toured here earlier this year and the consensus from our talks were that there are just too many unknowns, players from both teams were reluctant to go ahead with it.

“South Africa and Australia have a great cricketing rivalry and this is a series that we value, we could well be playing for an opportunity to regain the No.1 Test ranking so playing a day-night match is a fundamental change to the itinerary.

“The pink ball has had some issues with how it responds to 80 overs of Test cricket and that is one of the key issues that we feel plays a big role in the success of the day-night Test.

“The pitch also had to be ‘doctored’ to minimise the abrasive wear and tear to the pink ball, which seems to happen quicker than the red ball, and this is also an area we feel is a big factor in the run of play.”

The first-ever day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand was a runaway success with the crowd with over 123,000 people attending the match in Adelaide over the three days.

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