Day-night test at Adelaide still uncertain
With South African players still doubtful for the day-night test at Adelaide,Australian cricket’s new masterpiece is under threat. Last year Adelaide Oval hosted the inaugural day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand.
The Test was widely seen as a success, with expectations raised that this summer would have two day-night Tests put on the schedule.
The schedule for summer down under has been released. Four teams will tour Australia, with the summer set to begin with Tests against South Africa, followed by a three-match Chappell-Hadlee Trophy contest with New Zealand, Tests and ODIs against Pakistan, and finally, T20s against Sri Lanka.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said that they are trying their best to persuade South Africa to go ahead with the day-night test.
“We are working with Cricket South Africa with a view to ensuring that the Adelaide Test is a day-night Test,”James Sutherland said.
“With more than 123,000 people attending and an average of two million watching on television last season, there is an enormous expectation that we deliver another pink ball Test match this summer in Adelaide.
“Understandably, there is some concern from the South African players, but day-night Test cricket is all about the fans and a day-night match in Adelaide will be a bigger Test match crowd than the South African players will have ever experienced.
“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.
“We believe that having the ability to move matches into the evenings provides cricket fans with greater access to the game, both at the ground and at home on TV, and there is no doubt that this will help grow interest in Test cricket.
“Even for cricket fans at home in South Africa there are benefits. The day-night Test hours will allow the match to be televised in a far more attractive time of day in South Africa.”
South African Cricketers’ Association’s chief executive Tony Irish backed his players by saying that the players lacked preparation against the pink ball under lights.
“Our players are not in favour of playing the game under those conditions,” Irish said.
“The main reason is we feel disadvantaged. Not one of our players who will compete in that Test has played Test match cricket or any cricket with a pink ball… The reluctance to play is a sign of how much importance the South African players place on the series against Australia.”
But Sutherland also tried to address the South African players’ concern of not fully prepared for the pink ball.
“There is no interest at our end in having some sort of competitive advantage over the South Africans.”
“Just like we did with New Zealand we will roll out the red carpet and ensure they have all the preparation facilities they need.”
Australia has also announced that the first test match between them and Pakistan at Gabba will be day-night encounter. Pakistan players have reportedly agreed to play the match under lights with the pink ball.
Well certainly the prospect of the day-night test is an innovative way to make test cricket more exciting but no one can deny that the concern of South African players is completely justified.
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