Sports Cricket 20 Apr 2016 Australia pencil in ...

Australia pencil in day-night Test after Proteas reticence

Published Apr 20, 2016, 11:15 am IST
Updated Apr 20, 2016, 11:16 am IST
Australia hosted the first day-night Test against New Zealand late last year. (Photo: AP)
 Australia hosted the first day-night Test against New Zealand late last year. (Photo: AP)

Sydney: The reticence of South Africa's players to participate in a day-night Test has resulted in Cricket Australia unable to confirm whether a pink-ball match would go ahead against the Proteas.

Australia hosted the first day-night Test against New Zealand late last year, with plans to play a second twilight match against South Africa at Adelaide Oval during their three Test series in November.

Cricket Australia, however unveiled their itinerary for their international programme on Wednesday with the third Test at Adelaide from Nov. 24-28 only pencilled in as a potential day night Test.

Australian media had reported the South African players had concerns about using the pink ball in twilight conditions.

Both the Australian and New Zealand teams said they had not being able to see the ball properly during the twilight, while it also moved around appreciably.

The Test, however, was considered a commercial success with fans flooding into Adelaide Oval.

"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."

Sutherland said more than 123,000 people had attended the three days of the inaugural day-night Test, with an average of two million watching on television.

Brisbane's Gabba ground, however, would host its first day-night Test against Pakistan from December 15-19, Sutherland added as Cricket Australia battles with poor crowd turnouts at the Queensland venue, which has traditionally held the first match of Australia's international programme.

Perth will instead host the first Test between South Africa and Australia from November 3-7.

"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," Sutherland added.

"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 ... and believe that the time is right to stage a day-night Test at the Gabba."

Australia will also host trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand for three one-day internationals from December 4-9, between the South Africa and Pakistan Test series, before five one-dayers against Pakistan in January and three Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka in February.



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