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Pakistan aiming for day-night Test against West Indies

Pakistan aiming for day-night Test against West Indies
Misbah-ul-Haq believes day-night Tests will be the way forward in the longer format.
©REUTERS / Action Images

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is looking towards playing a day-night Test against West Indies when the two teams face off in the United Arab Emirates in October for a two-match series.

Pakistan are set to host West Indies in the UAE for a tour consisting of two Test matches, five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals.

It was announced earlier this month that Pakistan will play a day-night Test against Australia during their tour towards the end of the year.

This move by the PCB, which was reported by cricket.com.au is towards giving the Pakistan cricketers more experience with the pink ball under the lights ahead of the tour of Australia.

The PCB is also set to organise domestic first-class matches under the lights in order to help the players get accustomed to the conditions of a day-night Test.

In the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which is Pakistan’s first-class tournament every team is expected to play a day-night match with the pink ball.

Pakistan’s Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq feels that practice with the pink ball under the lights is absolutely crucial as the players have very little experience in the format.

Misbah also feels that day-night Tests will favour the bowlers in the evening session, making life for the batsmen very difficult.

“If you don’t have match practice it will become difficult to play at Test level,” Misbah told cricket.com.au.

“It was one of the things discussed in the cricket committee’s previous meeting.

“The bowlers are at advantage in the evening session and it becomes very difficult for batsmen under lights.

“That is one reason the cricketers from other countries are also reluctant to play Tests under lights.

“One more reason is the lack of match practice with the pink ball.

“The players have hardly played any cricket under these conditions at the domestic levels.

“They need more match practice before playing it at international level.”

Despite the concerns exhibited by the players, Misbah agrees that there is a need for promoting day-night Test cricket, whose aim is to draw more number of people to the stadiums.

“Although we as players have some concerns about playing under lights, especially the batsmen who have found it difficult to bat in the evening session with the pink ball, I think day-night Test cricket is (needed).

“There will be excitement among players but at the same time there will be some concerns too because Test cricket is already quite difficult and it will become even more difficult for the batsmen.”

Former Pakistan captain, Ramiz Raja is also supportive of the day-night Test concept and feels that the crowd interest can be brought back by adopting the format.

Comparing the day-night Tests to T20 cricket, Raja said that people will steadily begin to accept the day-night format in the same manner they have accepted the shortest form of the game when it first arrived.

“It is very good innovation and will help Test cricket to increase the audience,” Ramiz told cricket.com.au from India.

“The crowd is losing interest in Test cricket and I think day/night Tests can bring it back especially in Asia.

“PCB should look to experiment it in the UAE as the small crowds are a concern in Asia.

“If you remember people raised concerns about T20 cricket as well but it didn’t take long before they accepted the format.

“Similarly, it will take some time before we come to terms with the concept of day-night Test cricket.”

Raja understands the concerns of the players but has urged them to shun the worries and embrace the format as it is a crucial part of the evolution of the game.

Furthermore, Raja feels that Pakistan’s bowling attack will hold a clear advantage when they play day-night Test cricket.

“Obviously the players will have a little difficulty while adjusting to the new conditions but they shouldn’t be much worried about it otherwise they won’t be able to enjoy it and will lose excitement.

“As an international cricketer you should be able to adjust to the conditions.

“It shouldn’t be that difficult.

“The players should take pride in knowing that they are going to become part of the evolution of cricket.

“Pakistan has a good record in Test cricket and have done well lately.

“Their bowlers have the sort of CV which can give them job anywhere.

“Due to their pace attack they will be at advantage playing under the lights.”

Apart from the day-night game against Pakistan, Australia are also looking towards hosting a day-night Test against South Africa in the series which will be contested in October.

© Cricket World 2016