Day-night Test matches have grabbed the mainstream media’s headline for quite some time now. Ever since Australia and New Zeeland played the first ever day-night Test last November at Adelaide, there have been some mixed reactions. While the only objective of the move was achieved as a large number of crowd did turn up to witness the new experiment, Australia captain Steve Smith and some other players raised concerns over the visibility of the Pink ball.
With the debate of whether the day-night Test match is the future or not going on, after Ian Chappell, this new experimentation has found another supporter and he is none other than New Zealand legend, Sir Richard Hadlee.
Hadlee on Wednesday claimed that day-night affair is quite favourable for Test cricket right now as it’ll not only attract more crowd like it did last year but will also catch more television viewers as the timing of the matches will be perfect to raise TRP.
“Day-night cricket is the future of the game. I think, what we saw at the Adelaide Oval when New Zealand took on Australia, was a wonderful spectacle. Clearly it attracted the crowds and is great for television, I think,” he said.
Last year, Australia and New Zeeland offered an exciting game to flag-start the day-night Test concept. Although the match finished within three days as the Aussies claimed victory by three wickets, the match was a memorable one. Hadlee seemed excited and all for it talking about the game:
“We saw how the pink ball worked visually (well) on television. It performed better for players than they expected because there were some controversy and lack of confidence from players whether actually the pink ball will last and whether it could be seen. We saw an extra-ordinary Test match. Even (if) that was over in three days, it was a (good) contest between bat and ball. And that’s what you wanted. It was a wonderful spectacle.”
The main problems to organize these matches remain the actual visibility of the pink ball and the persistent dew in the outfield. Pinpointing on the issues, Hadlee, once the record wicket holder in Tests with 431 scalps before India’s Kapil Dev surpassed him, told: “The only problem (as I foresee) in some areas around the world is the dew factor and that the ball could be affected. That is going to be a disadvantage, particularly to the fielding team, and something needs to be worked through (to even the balance).”
With Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland, keen to host more day-night matches successfully and New Zealand believed to be playing their second day-night Test against India at the Eden Gardens later this year, there is obviously enough to be optimistic about the colourful future of day-night Test cricket.