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March 29, 2009
The first Test under lights may be held in May next year when England open the summer against Bangladesh at Lord's, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.
The change in playing conditions could prompt a change in the players' traditional white kit and the red ball, which will not be easily visible under the floodlights. The ICC cricket committee will discuss the matter when it meets this May. "As this would involve a change to the standard Test playing conditions and the clothing and equipment regulations for Test cricket, it would require our proper consent and the ECB have not approached us yet for any such approval," Dave Richardson, the ICC general manager, told the newspaper. "But the ICC is supporting the research by the MCC, which includes whether a white ball can be developed that can last longer and be suitable for longer versions of the game."
Last year the MCC trialled pink balls with a view to replace them with the less durable white ones in one-day cricket. The experiment had some success but reached a dead end when the England board rejected the use of pink balls in the 2009 domestic season, saying they were "little better than white balls".
Cricket Australia has also backed the idea of night Tests, with chief executive James Sutherland going as far as to say that day-night Test matches could be the only way for the five-day format to survive amid the growing interest in Twenty20 cricket.
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