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Australian cricketers want only one day-night Test in 2016-17

Australian cricketers want only one day-night Test in 2016-17
Australia entered the record books after winning the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide.
©REUTERS / Action Images

The chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) Alistair Nicholson has stated that the players prefer to play only one day-night Test in the 2016-17 season.

This comes as a stumbling block for Cricket Australia (CA) in their attempts to organise a second day-night Test against South Africa after announcing the first one of the season against Pakistan.

Earlier this month, the chief executive of the South African Players’ Association revealed that the Proteas are not in favour of playing a day-night Test against Australia as they lack match practice.

Nicholson further revealed that the Australian cricketers have concerns about the day-night Test format and are willing to play only one such fixture in the 2016-17 season.

"The recent media regarding whether South Africa will or won't play a day-night Test is only one part of the equation," Nicholson said.

"There are many other factors to be considered.

“The feedback we are receiving from our playing group is that there still remain concerns over day-night Tests and whilst there is acknowledgement that this format may grow the game, at this stage the players would prefer to only play one day-night Test in 2016-17.”

Elaborating more about the concerns, Nicholson said that the major issues are with the visibility of the pink ball under lights and the need to prepare specific pitches which do not damage the ball in the day-night Test.

"Pink-ball Tests are a fundamentally different game to traditional red-ball Test matches.

"We continue to be concerned about the durability and visibility of the pink ball, both the changing light conditions and the specifically-prepared pitches are altering the conditions that the players are used to at each venue."

However, Nicholson clarified that he Australian cricketers are not against the idea of the day-night Tests but only want to be a part of the discussions so as to put forth their concerns to the board.

"The players are supportive of innovation and certainly see the bigger picture.

"It's about growing the game through high quality cricket, accessible to as many people as possible.

“That's why we urge more formal discussions with the players having a seat at the table.

“On behalf of the players the ACA would welcome that."

A CA spokesperson revealed that the board is optimistic about organising the second day-night Test of the season and the discussions for the same are going on with Cricket South Africa.

The spokesperson further added that the discussion over the day-night Test against South Africa will only gather pace after the conclusion of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

"We are aware of comments from Alistair Nicholson today in regards to the proposed Adelaide day-night Test match," the spokesperson said.

"Along with a number of other parties, the ACA is consulted each year prior to the summer schedule being announced – and this year is no different.

"We remain optimistic that the Adelaide Test match will be played as a day-night match. After the success of last summer's Adelaide Test, the anticipation in that market is huge.

"Whilst discussions between ourselves and Cricket South Africa will continue, we don't expect material progress on this matter until after the IPL concludes."

South Africa are slated to tour Australia for a three-match Test series which will be played in November and CA is aiming to play the third game in Adelaide as a day-night fixture.

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