New Zealand plans to play day-night test against England
In a major boost to the day-night Test match, New Zealand is planning to host a day-night test encounter against England as part of a packed home international schedule for the next two seasons.
New Zealand Cricket has said that if everything goes as planned then the day-night test will be played at Auckland’s Eden Park in 2018.
“While we can’t confirm it yet, it’s something we’re extremely interested in and working towards,” NZC chief executive David White said.
NZC confirmed that while England is scheduled to tour New Zealand in February-April 2018,the date for the pink ball test is still uncertain.
After the rise of T20, the oldest format of the game has seen a steady decline in its popularity and the day-night encounters are seen as a good step to draw the fans towards the longest format of the game. New Zealand and Australia played the inaugural pink ball test in Adelaide last year. The match was a huge success, attracting huge crowds to rival those at limited-overs versions of the game.
But then some technical problems cropped up as players from both sides complained about the visibility and movement of the pink ball, while some conservatives claimed it undermined a Test tradition dating back to 1877.
Former England skipper Andrew Strauss has also backed the latest concept and said that it was a matter of time before such a match was played in England.
Under the NZC schedule announced Friday, New Zealand in 2016-17 will host Pakistan (two Tests), Bangladesh (three one-dayers, three T20s, two Tests), Australia (three ODIs) and South Africa (one T20, five ODIs, three Tests).
In 2017-18, they will host the West Indies (three Tests, five ODIs, one T20), Pakistan (three T20s, five ODIs), Australia (three ODIs) and England (one T20, five ODIs, two Tests).
“The last couple of years has seen a significant rise in interest in cricket and I think the schedule we’ve locked in will help that interest continue to grow,” White said.
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