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Day-night Tests discussed at ICC meeting - Faul

Firdose Moonda

June 28, 2012

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A

A prototype pink ball, London, November 13, 2007
Jacques Faul, acting CSA head: "The pink Kookaburra ball is good enough, is what we have been told [after Pakistan's day-night first-class games]." © Clare Skinner
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Day-night Test cricket has once again become a possibility after the ICC annual conference in Kuala Lampur. All Full Members were approached and asked if they would be open to the idea of hosting a day-night Test and there seems to be interested from some quarters. CSA's acting chief executive, Jacques Faul, called it "one the exciting ideas" to emerge from the meeting.

"We were all encouraged to try and host a night Test," Faul said at a press briefing on his return home. "In our case, it's something the board will have to approve first before anything else can happen. Then, we'll have to convince the players, the coach and the opponents."

Although Faul admitted the idea is something CSA may "want to try", he said he would not be happy to rush into it without some form of trial run. "If we do it, we will start off with a first-class match. I'm not brave enough to just get into a [international] night game without testing it," he said. Pakistan is the only country that have played first-class cricket under lights, with the final of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy being played as a day-night fixture for the last two seasons.

Faul said there was significant feedback from the Pakistan experiment to pique the interest of some other countries, including South Africa. "There weren't any negative comments about it," he said. "The pink Kookaburra ball is good enough, is what we have been told."

Should South Africa decide to sample the concept, Faul said they will look carefully into which grounds they can use, with a particular focus on weather. "Night cricket is a funny thing, because it means playing in different conditions," he said. "I am a little scared about the dew factor at certain grounds at certain times of the year." South Africa's Highveld venues as well as the coastal ground in Durban, where humidity is high, usually have significant amounts of dew during the summer months.

The specifics of day-night Test cricket are already being talked about in some form. Faul said the idea would be to start at 4pm and play until around 10pm, meaning playing time amounting to an hour less than is currently the norm. "It's speculation for now," Faul said.

He admitted the most important aspect would be getting players to agree to participate in the idea but, he said, he believed it could revolutionise the longest format of the game. "It will be interesting to see how the players react to it but I think it could be very beneficial," Faul said. "I think that might be the way forward. I might not see it taking place at every venue or against every team, but it definitely has the blessing of the ICC executive's committee."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by Chetan007 on (June 30, 2012, 4:11 GMT)

This idea is good at Australia, South Africa. But I wonder not suitable for sub continent pitches since dew will play an important role to one particular side.

Anyway, I think Australia is the first country to try this not Pakistan.

Posted by AlbertEinstein on (June 29, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

Is it just me or is Pakistan really becoming the innovation hub of cricket ?

Posted by SamRoy on (June 29, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

My only concern is, will the pink kookaburra ball be good enough for 80 overs, like the red one? (So that it swings conventionally for 40-45 overs and reverses after 65 overs). If it so, we can get on with day-night tests.

Posted by rukii on (June 29, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

@ahmed Hussain those people can sleep in stands and others can watch the watch.

Posted by Surinder_Singh_Bamrah on (June 29, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

I agree with Sohail, the beauty of test cricket can be enjoyed watching in daylight only..

Posted by Stieprox on (June 29, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

this is fantastic idea,surely it will revolutionize the game.Pakistan particularly need that.As we play all our cricket in UAE.Day night test matches will surely swell the number of spectators immensely.Pakistan must take a lead in this aspect.

Posted by Timmuh on (June 29, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

"Pakistan is the only country that have played first-class cricket under lights" Australia had a few day/night Sheffield Shield games with a yellow and red ball in the mid-to-late-90s, for the benefit of OptusVision who covered the Shield (probably under the milk cup name) at the time.

Posted by duralsumo on (June 29, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

Is this going to be another instituion destroyed by the TV networks. You only have to see the enthusiaum of the crowd who went to the Australia V Wales Rugby game to see how the average sport supporter holds night times sports and love the occassion of a day time test. A Rugby international in the day time conjours up enthusiam. Lets brings this to cricket. A test match is an occassion. Invariably people travel long distances to go to a test match. To bring to another perspective long lost friends catch up and have a great time after the test concludes. Enough of this nonsense. DO NOT MESS AROUND WITH WHAT WE LOVE FOR GREED!

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 1:51 GMT)

Due to these sort of useless experiments Test cricket will lose its remaining worth.... Test cricket should be remained in its real state. Only ICC Test Championship can boost up the five-day cricket. the authorities should think about it.

Posted by Prized-Ass on (June 29, 2012, 0:33 GMT)

It`s not only the dew factor that needs to be taken into account & even more so for for the spinner

They lose the changing of the pitch over a full day of sunlight ( Baking of the wicket & more wear + tear ) which brings them more into the back end of the match .

Are we going to ask curators to prepare like 3 day pitches so the spinner is not left to bowl on very flat pitches that won`t deteriorate due to not getting the full day affect

Posted by   on (June 28, 2012, 21:26 GMT)

I doubt a Night Test match will be as successful as a Night ODI/T20 match if you honestly think about it. Test Cricket doesn't have much action compared to ODIs and T20s and doubt people will attend to watch a Night Slow Test Match on a working day probably prefer big hitting entertainment instead.

Posted by Anil_m on (June 28, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

First class cricket has been played before by other countries under lights. Ranji trophy final in April 1997 was a day/night affair in Gwalior. Also if my memory serves correctly Day-nighters were played in the Sheffield Shield in the 1990s as well with yellow/orange balls.

Posted by NAZMO-CRICKFANN on (June 28, 2012, 20:32 GMT)

lol the boss will veto it. so rightly said

Posted by Desihungama on (June 28, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

You're joking right? Is there any reason to discuss anything when you know it will eventually be vetoed by the boss?

Posted by   on (June 28, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

THis is not quite true, a few first class matches have been played in the West Indies over the past two seasons..... Additionally, in the first Standford Tournament pink balls were used.

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