The day-night Test format received a massive boost when Australian test skipper Steve Smith said that he is keen to play the new format,despite claims made by Proteas star AB de Villiers to the contrary.
A few days ago De Villiers said a meeting between the players from both the countries concluded there were too many “unknowns” about the day-night Test and players from both teams were “reluctant” to go ahead with the fixture.
He said,”We had a meeting with Steven Smith and some of the Australian players when they toured here earlier this year, and the consensus from our talks were that there are just too many unknowns. Players from both teams were reluctant to go ahead with it.
Reacting to de Villiers’ claims, Smith said that he was surprised to find his name.
“I’m surprised that he named me,” Smith told cricket.com.au in Hyderabad, in reference to being linked by de Villiers to South African concerns over the proposed fixture. “I know having spoken to them (the South Africans), a few of their older players were keen to experience day-night Test cricket before they finish playing. “The feedback we gave them was that Adelaide is the best place to play it, in our opinion. “We’re playing one in Brisbane now, but Adelaide is the best place to play it and I think it could work there. “I don’t know where they’ve got their ideas from,” added Smith, in relation to assertions Australian players were reluctant to take part in a day-night Test against South Africa in Australia. “If they wanted to play one we’d be happy to.”
The visibility and durability of the pink ball and a grassy pitch that was prepared to protect it were of particular concern to the South Africans, according to de Villiers.
In the inaugural day-night test between Australia and New Zealand last year,no innings lasted more than 73 overs across the three days , with the even covering of grass, which was cut at 11mm long, preventing the usual wear and tear a Test ball traditionally endures.
But Smith claimed that Adelaide, where the match is slated to be played, is the perfect place for hosting the day-nighter.
“It was probably two millimetres of grass away from a four-day game rather than a three-day game which would have been outstanding,” he said. “I think Adelaide is a place it can certainly work.”
While talks between Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa are continuing to host the day-nighter, CA Chief Executive James Sutherland said the two parties were “moving in the right direction”.
“I continue to be optimistic about the Adelaide Test match being played as a day-night Test match,” Sutherland said. “It’s a big opportunity. It will be a bigger crowd than the South African players have ever seen before. “We probably won’t see any firm decisions on that until after IPL is over and their players get back home.”