MCC news September 7, 2011

Floodlit Test could be set for next year

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Test cricket could see its first day/night fixture as soon as January next year after the MCC said it was in discussions with New Zealand Cricket.

Zimbabwe are touring New Zealand and the Test match at Napier could be played under lights with a pink ball if trials set for October prove successful. The ECB announced that the Championship game between Kent and Glamorgan next week will be a day/night encounter and the MCC has ambitious plans.

"I'm currently in discussions with cricket New Zealand, hoping to organise a first-class match under lights with a pink ball between MCC and Northern Districts at the end of October in Hamilton," MCC director of cricket John Stephenson told ESPNcricinfo. "If that happens and it goes well and if NZC and ICC are all happy we're hoping that might be the precursor to New Zealand playing Zimbabwe in a Test match under lights at the end of January."

The MCC have been central in pushing day/night first-class cricket. With Test crowds in large parts of the world dwindling, finding new ways to draw people to grounds is essential. Floodlit games would allow people to come in after work and see half a day's play and it's hoped that may help increase spectator turnout.

For Stephenson, it is crowd numbers that is the most important gauge of success in the game at Canterbury. "If it helps stimulate attendances for what is in effect a dead game it would be a success. That's really the be all and end all.

"We've had two very good games in Abu Dhabi where the players adapted and there are periods of the game where, like in any form of cricket, you have to adapt. I'm just hoping the players will enjoy playing in a different format and I hope they see the ball well. It is always a danger with something new that if something goes wrong or someone drops a catch or misses a straight one, the colour of the ball will be blamed. But that is something that happens in any form of cricket, with a dark red ball even, sometimes you don't pick it up or miss a straight one."

Though floodlit first-class cricket could prove a crowd-puller in other parts of the world, England, especially in mid-September, is less suited to it. Not only will spectators have to brave the cold but evening dew could also come into play.

"The worry is at Canterbury in mid-September it won't be ideal in terms of conditions," said Stephenson. "But we pray for decent weather and no dew and hopefully we'll get an idea of how it works.

Dave Richardson, the ICC general manager of cricket, said at the ICC's cricket committee meeting in May that dew was a major factor to consider in day-night games but Stephenson is hopeful that the Kent-Glamorgan fixture won't sway New Zealand Cricket too much if conditions prove poor.

"You never know what the weather is going to be like," he said. "Obviously they'll [NZC] have a look at what goes on at Canterbury next week but hopefully that won't stop them doing it."

Sahil Dutta is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    Why didn't we have D/N tests as of yet???? Oh yes, ICC don't have the "balls".

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    a 3 tiered system would be very interesting but the 4 biggest series in world cricket would be done away with. Pakistan vs India, The Gavaskar-Chapell Trophy Australia vs South Africa & the Ashes. 1 more sensible way to make test cricket more popular is to reduce the frequency of distracting limited over tournaments like Champions league, Big Bash & IPL. all these domestic t20 tournaments could be held biannually instead of annually.these tournaments do bring in much needed money for the various boards but they also reduce the quality of international cricket as players are unwilling to say no to the large sums of money they earns from these leagues. As a result they do not take time to rest mentally & recover fully from injuries & fatigue so they turn up injured unfit & unprepared for national duty. a key example is the IPL & the on going series between India & England which is not as exciting a contest as it would have been if all the players were fit & raring to go!!

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | September 8, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    Day/Night tests wont bring in more people. Also how many times have we seen pitches change under lights in ODI's, especially when there is humidity around. @Yevghenny, it does have context, creating a league system would be detrimental, where would historic series like the Ashes sit if Aus and England where in different divisions, or Pakistan vs India. Think things through before you start making ridiculous suggestions.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | September 8, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    test cricket needs context. It doesn't mean anything at the moment. 3 divisions of 4 is a good idea, there will be less drubbings, and more importance

  • POSTED BY 512fm on | September 8, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Im from NZ and there is no way you are going to get more people going to day night tests. The whole attraction behind test cricket in NZ is sitting on the banks with the sun out, which won't be at night.

  • POSTED BY SVicious on | September 8, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Whats the big deal here? Why is taking so long to get something in place: The ICC just takes too long to make a decision and then twice that time to act on it. First the Pink Ball, which they have been trialling to death! Second the day-night debate for test matches, a long running saga with no end in sight. Just give it a go and see how it runs. Its most likely going to be a huge success! Third the biggest debate of all - the World Test Championships: Where is it? It should not take so long to put it together!! If we had the Test Championships in place, with 2 tiers in playing nations along with a mechanism to manage the 5 day test match with some of the principles of one day cricket rules then we'll see more success. Whats the debate about? Anyway, my opinion (for its 1/2 cents worth) is to make the decision making process faster, thought processes clearer with a view towards the longevity & support of the game.

  • POSTED BY plow on | September 8, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    I dont think day night matches are the answer to revive interest in test match cricket. I think it is time to divide the top 12 teams into three divisions, top, middle and bottom 4 with promotion relegation, still called "test cricket". I think that would generate the interest, if I am not wrong it would place Australia in the middle league.

    Test cricket has to have meaning, thats why the ashes is so popular, its the significance behind it that makes people tune in. To watch a match between New Zealand and Zimbabwe would be interesting if it meant one team was on the verge of promotion or relegation.. at the moment it's a nothing match, even for me a die hard kiwi supporter.

    Having a division of 4 teams would enable fair and regular scheduling, not a fixture programme built around financial returns for powerful cricket boards, where insignificant countries such as NZ barely get to play test cricket.

  • POSTED BY gothetaniwha on | September 8, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    An even bigger joke is playing a test in Napier under lights ( a rugby ground ) .It will be a draw it always is in Napier - Flattest pitch in NZ ,a road .

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | September 8, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    Well, this seems a complete crazy idea to me...........

  • POSTED BY Paulonian on | September 8, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    What a joke, New Zealand haven't played a match in about 8 months and Zimbabwe are just coming back to international cricket. If experimentation that has a slim chance of ruining a game is going to happen why can't it happen with teams like Australia, England or India who seemingly are playing every 20 minutes.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    Why didn't we have D/N tests as of yet???? Oh yes, ICC don't have the "balls".

  • POSTED BY on | September 8, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    a 3 tiered system would be very interesting but the 4 biggest series in world cricket would be done away with. Pakistan vs India, The Gavaskar-Chapell Trophy Australia vs South Africa & the Ashes. 1 more sensible way to make test cricket more popular is to reduce the frequency of distracting limited over tournaments like Champions league, Big Bash & IPL. all these domestic t20 tournaments could be held biannually instead of annually.these tournaments do bring in much needed money for the various boards but they also reduce the quality of international cricket as players are unwilling to say no to the large sums of money they earns from these leagues. As a result they do not take time to rest mentally & recover fully from injuries & fatigue so they turn up injured unfit & unprepared for national duty. a key example is the IPL & the on going series between India & England which is not as exciting a contest as it would have been if all the players were fit & raring to go!!

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | September 8, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    Day/Night tests wont bring in more people. Also how many times have we seen pitches change under lights in ODI's, especially when there is humidity around. @Yevghenny, it does have context, creating a league system would be detrimental, where would historic series like the Ashes sit if Aus and England where in different divisions, or Pakistan vs India. Think things through before you start making ridiculous suggestions.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | September 8, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    test cricket needs context. It doesn't mean anything at the moment. 3 divisions of 4 is a good idea, there will be less drubbings, and more importance

  • POSTED BY 512fm on | September 8, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Im from NZ and there is no way you are going to get more people going to day night tests. The whole attraction behind test cricket in NZ is sitting on the banks with the sun out, which won't be at night.

  • POSTED BY SVicious on | September 8, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Whats the big deal here? Why is taking so long to get something in place: The ICC just takes too long to make a decision and then twice that time to act on it. First the Pink Ball, which they have been trialling to death! Second the day-night debate for test matches, a long running saga with no end in sight. Just give it a go and see how it runs. Its most likely going to be a huge success! Third the biggest debate of all - the World Test Championships: Where is it? It should not take so long to put it together!! If we had the Test Championships in place, with 2 tiers in playing nations along with a mechanism to manage the 5 day test match with some of the principles of one day cricket rules then we'll see more success. Whats the debate about? Anyway, my opinion (for its 1/2 cents worth) is to make the decision making process faster, thought processes clearer with a view towards the longevity & support of the game.

  • POSTED BY plow on | September 8, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    I dont think day night matches are the answer to revive interest in test match cricket. I think it is time to divide the top 12 teams into three divisions, top, middle and bottom 4 with promotion relegation, still called "test cricket". I think that would generate the interest, if I am not wrong it would place Australia in the middle league.

    Test cricket has to have meaning, thats why the ashes is so popular, its the significance behind it that makes people tune in. To watch a match between New Zealand and Zimbabwe would be interesting if it meant one team was on the verge of promotion or relegation.. at the moment it's a nothing match, even for me a die hard kiwi supporter.

    Having a division of 4 teams would enable fair and regular scheduling, not a fixture programme built around financial returns for powerful cricket boards, where insignificant countries such as NZ barely get to play test cricket.

  • POSTED BY gothetaniwha on | September 8, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    An even bigger joke is playing a test in Napier under lights ( a rugby ground ) .It will be a draw it always is in Napier - Flattest pitch in NZ ,a road .

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | September 8, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    Well, this seems a complete crazy idea to me...........

  • POSTED BY Paulonian on | September 8, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    What a joke, New Zealand haven't played a match in about 8 months and Zimbabwe are just coming back to international cricket. If experimentation that has a slim chance of ruining a game is going to happen why can't it happen with teams like Australia, England or India who seemingly are playing every 20 minutes.

  • POSTED BY AzyS on | September 8, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    not a good idea at all... with global warming emerging as such a big threat to the world we should not be holding day-night tests at all... it will simply be a waste of energy and send the "green world" for a toss... t20 and odi are still fine but 5 days will be very bad use of energy.. to popularise tests ICC should pass a rule that all tests start on friday or saturday so that we can enjoy them over the weekends and yes also plz promote ireland and start a 2nd tier with teams such as afghanistan,holland,scotland,canada,kenya,namibia,uae and others... this is what is excitinf to us cricket lovers..

  • POSTED BY Meety on | September 8, 2011, 1:00 GMT

    Definately a big NOOOOOOOOOO! (for matches like the Ashes), or for that matter between sides at the top of the ICC table (or have reasonable prospects of getting to the top). When Oz have to play Bangladesh, in Aust., the chances of those matches being economically viable are fairly slim, therefor evening tests may be an option. In a place like Hobart, the sun doesn't go down till around 11pm in the middle of summer, so I can't see why they couldn't start at say 2.30pm like when an ODI could start.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | September 7, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    i dont have a problem with day night tests its just the venue and time of year they need to be more smart with. september in england and october in new zealand are stupid times of the year in both countries to trial this. do it in the heart of summer and it could turn out alright. england may be leading the push for this but it is the worst country to stage this type of thing in! its barley hot during the day there never mind night time. the only places the icc should allow this to go ahead in are places like perth or adelaide where its hot and dry at the time of year when they play tests there

  • POSTED BY on | September 7, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    I think this is a good idea, work within walking distance of Wellington's Basin Reserve, and would be one of those who would not have time to attend a test during the day, but would come and watch at the end of a day.

    I think NZ v. Zim is an ideal low profile test match to trial this type of thing. The NZ public traditionally don't turn up in big numbers to watch matches against Zimbabwe, but this would give NZC a great opportunity to make the most from those who do want to go and do have a job.

  • POSTED BY on | September 7, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Ohh..pls spare Zim. They just re-entered into test arena. Dont experiment on them.and its odd to imagine the most impeccable form of cricket being played under yellow lights. ICC should prepare FTP's considering the inputs from local weather experts (Info of non rainy seasons to plan a test series there) than trying to introduce test cric under lights.

  • POSTED BY Rocket_180 on | September 7, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    it may not work and it may be a complete failure but its good the ICC are trying new things to try and get people back into test amtches in nations where attendances are down

  • POSTED BY on | September 7, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Why they are putting Zimbabwe in difficult situation? They had just made come back to test cricket and Icc is doing experiment on them (zim)... Why they are putting Zimbabwe in difficult situation? They had just made come back to test cricket and Icc is doing experiment on them (zim)...

  • POSTED BY on | September 7, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    waste idea i wil say...it wont be good....

  • POSTED BY mensan on | September 7, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Day night tests will be good for spectators.

  • POSTED BY EmjayKhan104 on | September 7, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    My god, what is the next step for cricket? A MIDNIGHT TEST MATCH WITH AN ORANGE BALL? Haven't we got enough cricket? To be honest everyone I know, including myself love the 50 over and 20/20 game. If no-one turns up to watch a 5 day match now in the daytime, who's gonna give up their evenings to watch a 5 day match? I think this is a waste of time and it will fail miserably!!!

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  • POSTED BY EmjayKhan104 on | September 7, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    My god, what is the next step for cricket? A MIDNIGHT TEST MATCH WITH AN ORANGE BALL? Haven't we got enough cricket? To be honest everyone I know, including myself love the 50 over and 20/20 game. If no-one turns up to watch a 5 day match now in the daytime, who's gonna give up their evenings to watch a 5 day match? I think this is a waste of time and it will fail miserably!!!

  • POSTED BY mensan on | September 7, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Day night tests will be good for spectators.

  • POSTED BY on | September 7, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    waste idea i wil say...it wont be good....

  • POSTED BY on | September 7, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Why they are putting Zimbabwe in difficult situation? They had just made come back to test cricket and Icc is doing experiment on them (zim)... Why they are putting Zimbabwe in difficult situation? They had just made come back to test cricket and Icc is doing experiment on them (zim)...

  • POSTED BY Rocket_180 on | September 7, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    it may not work and it may be a complete failure but its good the ICC are trying new things to try and get people back into test amtches in nations where attendances are down

  • POSTED BY on | September 7, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Ohh..pls spare Zim. They just re-entered into test arena. Dont experiment on them.and its odd to imagine the most impeccable form of cricket being played under yellow lights. ICC should prepare FTP's considering the inputs from local weather experts (Info of non rainy seasons to plan a test series there) than trying to introduce test cric under lights.

  • POSTED BY on | September 7, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    I think this is a good idea, work within walking distance of Wellington's Basin Reserve, and would be one of those who would not have time to attend a test during the day, but would come and watch at the end of a day.

    I think NZ v. Zim is an ideal low profile test match to trial this type of thing. The NZ public traditionally don't turn up in big numbers to watch matches against Zimbabwe, but this would give NZC a great opportunity to make the most from those who do want to go and do have a job.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | September 7, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    i dont have a problem with day night tests its just the venue and time of year they need to be more smart with. september in england and october in new zealand are stupid times of the year in both countries to trial this. do it in the heart of summer and it could turn out alright. england may be leading the push for this but it is the worst country to stage this type of thing in! its barley hot during the day there never mind night time. the only places the icc should allow this to go ahead in are places like perth or adelaide where its hot and dry at the time of year when they play tests there

  • POSTED BY Meety on | September 8, 2011, 1:00 GMT

    Definately a big NOOOOOOOOOO! (for matches like the Ashes), or for that matter between sides at the top of the ICC table (or have reasonable prospects of getting to the top). When Oz have to play Bangladesh, in Aust., the chances of those matches being economically viable are fairly slim, therefor evening tests may be an option. In a place like Hobart, the sun doesn't go down till around 11pm in the middle of summer, so I can't see why they couldn't start at say 2.30pm like when an ODI could start.

  • POSTED BY AzyS on | September 8, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    not a good idea at all... with global warming emerging as such a big threat to the world we should not be holding day-night tests at all... it will simply be a waste of energy and send the "green world" for a toss... t20 and odi are still fine but 5 days will be very bad use of energy.. to popularise tests ICC should pass a rule that all tests start on friday or saturday so that we can enjoy them over the weekends and yes also plz promote ireland and start a 2nd tier with teams such as afghanistan,holland,scotland,canada,kenya,namibia,uae and others... this is what is excitinf to us cricket lovers..