Australia news June 30, 2014

Day-night Test likely next year

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Australia and New Zealand appear almost certain to play the first day-night Test with a pink ball next year, after discussions progressed between the two countries last week. Adelaide and Hobart are the two possible venues for the inaugural match, which is likely to take place in November 2015, despite some concerns arising from players after pink-ball trials in the Sheffield Shield last summer.

A further round of day-night Shield games will be played this season and New Zealand are also set to undertake their own trials, though not in first-class cricket, as the inexorable push towards a day-night Test continues. Although some Shield players had no problems with the pink ball, others reported trouble seeing the ball or its seam, and there were concerns about how quickly it softened and lost its swing.

All three matches lasted into the fourth day and Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said the most encouraging aspect of the day-night trials was that the scores were consistent with the rest of the Shield season. However, he conceded that a pink ball was unlikely ever to behave exactly like a red ball and that "everyone is going to need to be accepting" of that.

"What we learnt from that last year is that there are no really obvious reasons why we shouldn't be continuing to progress with our intent around day-night Test match," Sutherland said. "We're certainly very excited about the concept and we're serious about really properly pushing ahead now.

"The pink ball, just like the white ball, doesn't behave exactly the same as the red ball. But ... the ball is the same for both teams. What we were pleased about was that in looking at the Shield results from this round that we played, the statistics in terms of runs and wickets were very much on par with average for the whole Shield season last year. There weren't any rogue behaviours.

"I don't think we're ever going to get to a stage where everyone is completely satisfied or comfortable with it. If we go back 30-odd years in time when the first ever day-night one-day internationals were played, I'm sure there was that same level of trepidation that some stakeholders including players might have had about day-night one-day cricket and white balls."

For Cricket Australia, the move is in part about maximising revenue. While the traditional Boxing Day and New Year's Tests in Melbourne and Sydney would remain unaffected, CA wants to bring more fans through the gates outside of summer holiday periods. The idea is that spectators would be more likely to attend Tests if they could turn up after work and see most of the day's play.

Then there is the major drawcard of boosting television audiences, as is already the case with the WACA Test, which attracts higher ratings because Perth's time-zone means the Test airs in the eastern states in prime time. However, Sutherland was at pains to suggest that it was not simply a money-making exercise and that Test cricket's health would be boosted by the move.

"Players are often quite concerned about changes in the way the game is played," he said. "That creates an all-the-more-important reason for us to consult with them so they understand where we're going and why it is.

"Whilst there may be some trepidation or concern about the pink ball and what impact it has on the game itself, I think it's really important that we continue to keep the big picture in mind and understand that in certain parts of the world the game of Test cricket is not as strong as it once was. If there are things we can do to enhance Test cricket to make it more popular, then that needs to be our ultimate aim. The last thing we want is to see Test cricket withering on the vine."

David White, the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket, said his discussions with Sutherland around the idea last week were positive and that NZC was keen to give day-night Test cricket a go. He said it was "critical" the pink ball behaved as closely as possible to the red ball, but that Test cricket had a history of adapting to suit the times.

"Since Test cricket was played in 1877 there have been significant changes, covered pitches, day limits, fielding restrictions, introduction of helmets, change of ball etc," White said. "I think as administrators we must keep evolving, improving the game and improving it for our stakeholders. We've got to be mindful of change but keep an open mind.

"I've spoken to the players and we've said once the trial [in New Zealand] is over and if they're satisfied we'll put it to them. The consultation with the players is key, we're very conscious of that."

The ICC approved day-night Test cricket in 2012, leaving the finer points up to the participating boards. David Richardson, the ICC's chief executive said he was pleased the concept appeared close to becoming a reality.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NorthPacifictragic on June 30, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    I don't think people should write day-night tests off. The game itself remains unchanged. Players will have to be able to see the ball. That is all that is required. Cricket is already played under a myriad of conditions. This will just be another variable akin to pitch conditions or climate that will suit some players and teams and not others. There will have to be a bit of fine tuning to get the recipe exactly right but there should be no real obstacle to making this happen. One idea that might work with respect to visibility of the seam is to vary the thread colour to improve the contrast.

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on June 30, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    Rule number one in life is that there will always be some people who oppose anything new or different. I am sure that ODIs and T20s were once considered by some to be ridiculous ideas that would never last.

    Adapting to different conditions is an essential part of cricket. As is already done in limited over cricket this will now include playing at night in Tests.

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    It will be good if every Test match is played using flood lights by evening to be able to bowl mandatory 90 overs per side to make games even and fair allowing result oriented matches. If rain interrupts then matches should be played day-night, it should be applied every Test match around the world.

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    This was actually mooted believe it or not way back as far as 1980-81 when the NZ side toured Australia and played in night international games for the first time. A number of the NZ players such as John Parker and Jeremy Coney spoke about the potential of this transferring to Test cricket

  • BradmanBestEver on June 30, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Excellent idea for a day/night test - it's better to have tried and failed...

  • AMMAR3438668158 on June 30, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    i read some comments most of people agree on day night test and great thing for cricket and thought this change make test cricket more interesting,but i dont think so.becaus various factor involve it like due factor,pictch conditon,spin bowling, batting techniques etc.....i am big big fan of aussie team and support him so aussie players plz not focus on day night test.

  • 4test90 on June 30, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    I remember back in 1988/89 they were talking about the "inevitability" of Day Night Tests. In 1994/5 some Shield games were played day/night and it was not a success. I seriously doubt it will ever happen - too problematic.

  • AMMAR3438668158 on June 30, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    day night test is very boring idea.i dont think so.we day night t20 and odi is best but test is not better for cricket.i cant understand why icc experiment ln test cricket this will change the method of test cricket and make boring.test cricket played in actual format.only in day light not in night.so i request aus and nz not play test in night.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on June 30, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    @Gautam Khosla, it's police to put quotes in quotation marks and name the source, KP in your case. I dont think we need day night tests and the Sheild trials were pretty damning as the author points out.

  • on June 30, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    For the desenters out there think back to the introduction of the automobile and how far we have come since then Test Crciket would be nothing if people didn't attend any of the matches, the knock on effect would be that the matches wouldn't be televised so the game would die out so Michael Clarke it's time to let go of your fears or inhibitions and let the game flow and expand!

  • NorthPacifictragic on June 30, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    I don't think people should write day-night tests off. The game itself remains unchanged. Players will have to be able to see the ball. That is all that is required. Cricket is already played under a myriad of conditions. This will just be another variable akin to pitch conditions or climate that will suit some players and teams and not others. There will have to be a bit of fine tuning to get the recipe exactly right but there should be no real obstacle to making this happen. One idea that might work with respect to visibility of the seam is to vary the thread colour to improve the contrast.

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on June 30, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    Rule number one in life is that there will always be some people who oppose anything new or different. I am sure that ODIs and T20s were once considered by some to be ridiculous ideas that would never last.

    Adapting to different conditions is an essential part of cricket. As is already done in limited over cricket this will now include playing at night in Tests.

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    It will be good if every Test match is played using flood lights by evening to be able to bowl mandatory 90 overs per side to make games even and fair allowing result oriented matches. If rain interrupts then matches should be played day-night, it should be applied every Test match around the world.

  • on June 30, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    This was actually mooted believe it or not way back as far as 1980-81 when the NZ side toured Australia and played in night international games for the first time. A number of the NZ players such as John Parker and Jeremy Coney spoke about the potential of this transferring to Test cricket

  • BradmanBestEver on June 30, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Excellent idea for a day/night test - it's better to have tried and failed...

  • AMMAR3438668158 on June 30, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    i read some comments most of people agree on day night test and great thing for cricket and thought this change make test cricket more interesting,but i dont think so.becaus various factor involve it like due factor,pictch conditon,spin bowling, batting techniques etc.....i am big big fan of aussie team and support him so aussie players plz not focus on day night test.

  • 4test90 on June 30, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    I remember back in 1988/89 they were talking about the "inevitability" of Day Night Tests. In 1994/5 some Shield games were played day/night and it was not a success. I seriously doubt it will ever happen - too problematic.

  • AMMAR3438668158 on June 30, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    day night test is very boring idea.i dont think so.we day night t20 and odi is best but test is not better for cricket.i cant understand why icc experiment ln test cricket this will change the method of test cricket and make boring.test cricket played in actual format.only in day light not in night.so i request aus and nz not play test in night.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on June 30, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    @Gautam Khosla, it's police to put quotes in quotation marks and name the source, KP in your case. I dont think we need day night tests and the Sheild trials were pretty damning as the author points out.

  • on June 30, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    For the desenters out there think back to the introduction of the automobile and how far we have come since then Test Crciket would be nothing if people didn't attend any of the matches, the knock on effect would be that the matches wouldn't be televised so the game would die out so Michael Clarke it's time to let go of your fears or inhibitions and let the game flow and expand!

  • on June 30, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    Its a great thing for cricket. As it will take bad light out of the equation. Over the years lots of time in test matches had been wasted because of bad light. So only rain can stop test matches as far as day and night test matches are concerned which is incredible.

  • Kavum on June 30, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Who will manufacture the pink ball? China?

  • hokeypokey on June 30, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Nzc would do anything to play aussie in a test...but really? ..leave test cricket alone david white..

  • on June 30, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    one more important factor everybody missing here is the effect of dew on the outcome of the games... Imagine India bowling in the second innings with the pitch offering vicious spin in the afternoon session at Eden Garden or Chepauk... with only 4 batsmen to be dismissed and the spinners on the prowl, the dew sets in, dampens the pitch because of which the ball now comes onto the bat better and the spinners are now unable to grip the ball !! the opposition snatch out an improbable draw against a certain defeat !! Now if this happens, who is to be blamed ?? the pitch, the players or the condition... ??

  • on June 30, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    If so Australia will have to drop their prolific colour blind opener Chris Rogers; he could not see a "pink" ball not even a trace of it.

  • on June 30, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    If Cricket Australia want to maximise revenue in Adelaide; schedule a Test match there around January 26.

  • dunger.bob on June 30, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    To all the dew worriers. Dew isn't much of a factor in Australia but it might be in NZ. Maybe one of our Kiwi mates can clarify that. Anyway, in Australia, it doesn't seem to interfere with day/night ODI's so it shouldn't affect Test matches either.

    I don't think CA is suggesting that other countries should take it up. It's more a domestic measure to increase the TV audience, so I think you can rest easy @ Rajvir Singh. It probably won't work anyway and the cricket world will remain free of any Aussie innovations.

    @Guatam Khosla: That's what Kevin Pietersen said. Pretty much exactly as it turns out.

  • Mayank_Saxena1286 on June 30, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    I think its a good Idea to play Day Night Test Cricket, People will take more interest in Day night Test Matches and Ground would be more packed in day Night Matches.

  • Potatis on June 30, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    I don't want to watch day/night test cricket. We already have ODIs and T20s for that.

  • Batmanian on June 30, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    I can't believe anyone's dismissing this out of hand. It's been in development a long time. As for stats, I can't see the light affecting this nearly as much as the rain informs Tests in WI, NZ, England - it's just another factor for home and touring sides to contend with or exploit.

  • on June 30, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    This idea is really poor. Recent Test matches are showing awesome results. So test cricket should remain as it is now. If everyone is so desperate about this then a new format other than current three formats should added. I don't know why people want to tweak the classic cricket - the purest form of cricket. I think in future there will be no test cricket, which is sad.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on June 30, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Hope it does succeed. But it be be no surprise if it didnt, this d/n test business. What I do have going through my mind though is trepidation and fear For the NZ batsmen to be straight. Well,good luck facing world's fastest ,Mitch steaming in to hurl some partially visible pink sphere @ 155 k under floodlights ,and attempting to knock your head off with some!! -:)

  • HonestTalk on June 30, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Seems to be a good idea to try something new but i m not sure if that wld work. Also, it may not work in few countries because of the dew. Cricket as a game has to see a lot of changes for it to survive. There are many ppl across the world who follow The Ashes not due to the interest in the game but due to the history between the countries and same with India and Pakistan..the game is still alive mainly because of Indians who aren't good at any other sports and are fairly decent in cricket. It will be interesting to see new ideas being implemented. Cricket needs it!

  • Charindra on June 30, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    Well done CA and NZC! Amidst the disappointment and hopelessness that the Big 3 has given me, this shines as a beacon of hope. And honestly, who cares if the pink ball doesn't behave exactly as the red. Did pitches behave exactly as before once covered pitches were introduced? Did batsmen bat as before once helmets were introduced? No, and this will be another stage in cricket's evolution. It will bring more people to the stadium, and will increase tv audiences too. Cricket is the winner.

  • on June 30, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    First of all, if they gonna play "test" cricket with a pink ball, they should Add a new 4th category for stats with PBIT (Pink Ball International Tests) Secondly Night time tests in the subcontinent are near impossible with the dew being involved cause that gives a massive advantage to the batting side since the bowlers won't even be able to grip the ball.. ACB & NZCB can have their little experiments, but keep it away from the rest of the world..

  • getsetgopk on June 30, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    Excellent idea which ever way you look at it. The dew factor would be more evenly distributed compared to ODI's since both teams will get the chance to both bow and bat under the same conditions. Besides, dew brings in more tactical decisions into play. If a batting side has a lead of 300 on the 4th evening, should they decide to declare and have a go at the opposition or should they carry on. Test cricket has trumendous intricacies already and day night tests will just add another angle to the schemes of tactics. The disadvantages are evenly distrubuted, both teams play with the same ball, its just the tactical part of the playing conditions that will bring in even more excitement. Do or die case for test cricket in sub continent anyways when almost 5 months of blazing sun gives you no respite during day time. Test cricket has given us alot, ODI's and T20 are its off shoots not to mention the unforgettable test matchs over the years. We owe test cricket this much to give it a chance.

  • xtrafalgarx on June 30, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    @Guatam Khosla: No you don't, he is retired.

  • on June 30, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    This is interesting because no mater the ball color, it's hard to see. and especially when you have bowlers bowling 140kph+ at you, it will be challenging for the batsman. I would think that this would be a bowling paradise at night. but, i would like to see the results of this. Good luck

  • on June 30, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    what venues though. considering its NZ - i am guessing Gabba, Adelaide or maybe Perth. Just judging by last couple of times NZ came here the games were always in gabba and adelaide, and Hobart on one occasion.

  • on June 30, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    I don't think it will necessarily get a lot more people coming to the ground but it will get more viewers watching on tv as it will be in prime time & that's where the real money is.

  • akashhaque on June 30, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    I think in a day night test all will be benifited except the players, cas they will get even lesser time to rest and have a good team discussion.

  • Reuben_Kincaid on June 30, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    This is a great, progressive move by CA and CNZ. Too many people are not just too precious about Test cricket, they have no understanding of how the game has evolved since 1877 and are therefore unable to accept this as just a further progression e.g. ball size, the stumps, the boundaries, playing times, bats, players' protection, declarations, the pitch including covers and the use of matting pitches in South Africa and Pakistan. Yes, the ball itself is fundamental to the game but today we don't even use the same brand of ball with the same behavioural characteristics globally.

    Will be interested to see if the BCCI supports the initiative given that organisations's clear preference for letting Test cricket die

  • on June 30, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    All for progress. Will be interesting to see what this does in countries that have very hot home conditions i.e. India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia and to an extent South Africa. I know the Kiwis and the Poms will be loving cooler nights and therefore the lessening of the heat factor over five days.

  • Sexysteven on June 30, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Don't agree with day night test cricket don't think it will work it won't drag more people to the game apart from us true fans everyone else gets bored with test cricket cos it takes to long that ain't going to change it's all about making money not sure how much more money they will make from it personally I think this will ruin test cricket it's good as it is the shorter formats are for experimenting on not test cricket

  • Antony_Lucas on June 30, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    Brilliant News. It is not often sporting events favour the new zealand timezone, prime time cricket is just the ticket

  • Dimesh on June 30, 2014, 3:52 GMT

    its different, but i feel 2 1/2 days (6-10pm) play will go waste as ball get wet, wild swing and most matches will not reach 3-4th days coz that facts ?

  • on June 30, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    Hhhhmmm will be interesting to watch night Tests with pink balls in play. Remember Rahul Dravid's strokes with the pink ball in the County opener few years ago in Abu Dhabi

  • on June 30, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    Day Night cricket is a joke! You got Brett Lee running in with the new ball at a quarter to ten.. I think it's ridiculous!

  • on June 30, 2014, 3:34 GMT

    @Josh. Why is it a joke?? The ICC have to try something to get more people attending Test cricket matches. Outside Ashes test matches. Day/Night cricket was trialled years ago in ODI cricket and it worked.

  • dunger.bob on June 30, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    I wonder if playing at night would bring the action closer to prime time in places like England and India. .. just a thought.

    Anyway, they seem determined to give it a go so I'm prepared to reserve my judgement until I've seen a game or two. Who knows, it might be good.

  • siddhartha87 on June 30, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    @Josh could you please explain why it is a joke. I think day night tests shows only evolution of cricket.

  • on June 30, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    So , are we going to have dinner breaks now ? This is amusing stuff !

  • on June 30, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    Will not watch day-night test match cricket. Absolute joke.

  • on June 30, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    Will not watch day-night test match cricket. Absolute joke.

  • on June 30, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    So , are we going to have dinner breaks now ? This is amusing stuff !

  • siddhartha87 on June 30, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    @Josh could you please explain why it is a joke. I think day night tests shows only evolution of cricket.

  • dunger.bob on June 30, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    I wonder if playing at night would bring the action closer to prime time in places like England and India. .. just a thought.

    Anyway, they seem determined to give it a go so I'm prepared to reserve my judgement until I've seen a game or two. Who knows, it might be good.

  • on June 30, 2014, 3:34 GMT

    @Josh. Why is it a joke?? The ICC have to try something to get more people attending Test cricket matches. Outside Ashes test matches. Day/Night cricket was trialled years ago in ODI cricket and it worked.

  • on June 30, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    Day Night cricket is a joke! You got Brett Lee running in with the new ball at a quarter to ten.. I think it's ridiculous!

  • on June 30, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    Hhhhmmm will be interesting to watch night Tests with pink balls in play. Remember Rahul Dravid's strokes with the pink ball in the County opener few years ago in Abu Dhabi

  • Dimesh on June 30, 2014, 3:52 GMT

    its different, but i feel 2 1/2 days (6-10pm) play will go waste as ball get wet, wild swing and most matches will not reach 3-4th days coz that facts ?

  • Antony_Lucas on June 30, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    Brilliant News. It is not often sporting events favour the new zealand timezone, prime time cricket is just the ticket

  • Sexysteven on June 30, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Don't agree with day night test cricket don't think it will work it won't drag more people to the game apart from us true fans everyone else gets bored with test cricket cos it takes to long that ain't going to change it's all about making money not sure how much more money they will make from it personally I think this will ruin test cricket it's good as it is the shorter formats are for experimenting on not test cricket