ICC and CA back day/night Tests
Phil Hughes is gone, but can Australia win? (AP Photo/Chris Crerar)
In a move that is sure to boil the blood of some purists, Cricket Australia announced it was investigating the prospect of day/night Test matches after being given the all clear from the ICC.
The prospect would see host nations choosing such details as ball brand, colour and hours of play, which would still remain at six scheduled hours.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland conceded one of the major issues in the new format is a viable ball, as red balls are deemed too difficult to see at night time and white balls currently lacking the ability to last the appropriate 80 overs.
“Finding a Test ball that is as easily visible in the day as it is at night is still a technical work in progress that the ICC is leading,” he said.
“The traditional red ball is not regarded as suitable for night cricket because it is not as visible at night as it is in the day, and the ODI white ball is not suitable for Tests as it is not as durable as the red ball and does not last as well as a Test ball needs to last.”
Sutherland said that experiments with colours such as pink, orange and yellow where promising for the future.
The move is aimed at expanding Test audiences in terms of both both crowds and TV viewing.
With a full length Test match being played on at least three week days, the move is seen as appropriate to expand these audiences as Tests often clash with school and working days.
The announcement appears to have been met positively, with several major news outlets publishing seemingly positive reports. However, there are concerns that the Test match format is not appropriate for night time as it is not ‘exciting’ enough.
Sutherland, however, believes that ‘cricket’s premium format’ is currently limited by staging itself when viewers often cannot watch.
In any case, with both ICC and Cricket Australia backing it, it’s likely the format will be at least trialed in coming years, with the only hindering factor the search for an appropriate ball.
Watch Glenn Mitchell's wrap of the second Test, where Australia were victorious early on the final day, winning by 218 runs and taking a 2-0 series lead into the third Test in Perth.