India explores day-night options for Duleep Trophy
The BCCI tours and fixtures committee has recommended to its technical committee to consider playing day-night games with the pink ball in the Duleep Trophy. The Duleep Trophy is a inter-zonal first-class tournament, which was not held during this first-class season because of a crowded calendar. The next Duleep Trophy is likely to be played at the start of India's next season, during which the national team is expected to play 13 Tests at home.
A BCCI release said the committee discussed "various options" to bring more fans to Test matches in the coming season. The idea of day-night Tests has the support of India's Test captain Virat Kohli. Just before the first day-night Test, in Adelaide, Kohli had said: "I'm glad the two teams have actually agreed to play an official Test like that as an experiment. Credit to Australia and New Zealand, both, that they have decided to do this. Hopefully it will be better for the game. It will be a step which we all might remember few years down the line. Let's hope so.
"It is a step towards something. If it is officially put into place it will be something different, it will be something exciting. As cricketers we all should be willing and accepting of the fact that we need to step forward and contribute to the game however possible. If this is a step towards improving the excitement and the popularity of Test cricket, then I think every team should be in for it."
The problem anticipated with playing day-night matches during the first-class season in India is that a majority of it is played in the winter, which makes dew a big factor.
If the proposal is implemented, this won't be the first day-night first-class match in India. The Ranji Trophy final of the 1996-97 final was a day-night affair. It was played with a white ball in the month of April.
"I played in a five-day Ranji Trophy final in Gwalior that was a day-night fixture, and it was one of the best first-class matches I ever played in - the main reason being that we played in front of a big crowd for a change," Sanjay Manjrekar wrote of the match. "But clearly the white ball was an issue in that game and so the experiment was not repeated."