Sri Lanka tour of UAE 2013-14 August 14, 2013

PCB mulls day-night Tests against Sri Lanka

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has offered Sri Lanka Cricket a chance to play a day-night Test on their tour to the United Arab Emirates in winter. Two of three Tests on the tour are scheduled in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and these could be potential venues to host the day-night Test.

The ICC last year approved the idea of day-night Test matches but left it to member boards to decide on the hours of play and the colour of the ball to be used. No board so far has considered playing day-night Tests, but the PCB has shown interest in trying out the format. The board has organised day-night first-class matches and a few MCC fixtures in Abu Dhabi have also been played under lights.

"We have offered to play a Test match under lights," Nadeem Sarwar, the PCB spokesman, told ESPNcricinfo. "We are keen to experiment with day-night Test cricket as we believe that this would help in reviving interest in the format. The major aspect in our discussion is the correspondence on the colour and brand of the ball. The venues are definitely ideal and there is no dew factor involved in December and January."

Sri Lanka have not conducted any trials for day-night first-class or Test cricket, but appear positively disposed to the prospect of being a part of the first floodlit Test.* Sri Lanka Cricket president Jayantha Dharmadasa said SLC had not yet discussed the subject at length, but suggested that unless major objections arose in talks, Sri Lanka would agree to play the match under lights.

"We shouldn't say no if the only reason is that it doesn't suit us," Dharmadasa said. "In the past we've had 50-over cricket come into the game, then Twenty20s. In the future it will be day-night Tests. It would be a good thing for us to be part of the first day-night Test. People will be looking at it. I've still got to talk to the cricket committee, the selectors, and the cricketers, so we'll see what comes out of those meetings."

Sarwar said that a day-night Test could attract spectators and broadcasters. "Preliminary enquiries have revealed that there is an interest amongst sponsors and broadcasters in day-night Test cricket as it could add commercial momentum," Sarwar added. "We also anticipate greater spectator interest compared to an all-day Test match. PCB has conducted trials of day-night, domestic first-class matches and, for us, this will be an exciting experiment, subject, of course, to agreement by Sri Lanka Cricket Board."

Pakistan will host Sri Lanka in the UAE between December 2013 and January 2014 for a bilateral series that includes three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s. The series, the second bilateral contest between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE, will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. The first Test has been scheduled for December 31 in Dubai, while Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will host the second and third Tests, from January 8 and January 16.

*07.15GMT, August 15: This article has been updated with the SLC's response

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on August 17, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    ICC does not know what to approve and not to approve .....

  • dummy4fb on August 16, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Day & Night matches will not be fair even at one dayers. Conditions could be drastically changed ( heat, moisture in air, dew etc) On the other hand, it is a crime to use so much of energy ( electricity), contributing pollution( GHG emissions etc) and utilizing resources of future generation for the game for commercial gain. All these are not for the game but for commercial gain

  • Rambo-123 on August 16, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    It is a great idea and something new...... We should not miss this opportunity to be the first teams to test.

  • bgshankar on August 16, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    Trust me. In future test or one day cricket format will be fair and even only if its played like a baseball. Each team plays for short time (say one hour) then switches side. This way the sun/moon/flood light will have minimal impact on the game. Also the pitch need to be universal (or one end helps batting and other end helps bowling). So why not have an artificial - ICC approved - pitch and roll it over? This way there is no home ground advantage to the host w.r.t pitch or being too friendly to batter/bowler or changes its nature based on weather. Lest's do these fair stuff first. Then we can think about day/night format.

  • dummy4fb on August 15, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    T20 reduces the skill barrier and makes more teams more competitive at a higher level. Luck plays a greater role in performance. And with all the large unions still struggling to come to term with the format, its a window of opportunity for new nations to break in. It could be the first cricket world sport in years to come. Tests and the rest will follow. Its a fantastic new development in sport. Its the best attennded cricket matches and it seems like the people are taking too it. This format has the ability to make cricket a world sport!

  • visha_pb on August 15, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    You guys have no idea how much cold in UAE on January. Specially at night. It is Winter in the Desert. Have anyone Experience before?

  • dummy4fb on August 15, 2013, 21:34 GMT

    A good initiative by the PCB day night test matches will surely develop the interest in the longer format of the game.

  • Mr.Arrack on August 15, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    I'm not sure who declared the Test matches dead but they were so wrong. The greatest battles occur in Test Matches as it tests all aspects of the game.As a Sri Lankan, I'd like to thank PCB for stepping up to the crease and for inviting SLC to take part in the birth of a new era. I'm sure that playing conditions will be a concern in some field but this may spur countries to build new stadiums in areas that provide fair playing condition for Day/Night Test matches. I look forward to this series and love that two teams from the subcontinent are willing to lead the way.

  • baghels.a on August 15, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    stumpedlloyd, i keep hearing from English fans about the packed houses you blokes get for test matches, but isn't it true that you also get fullhouses for 50 over and T20's whenever English national team is involved, it is also a fact that in County cricket you get more crowd for T 20's than compared to 4 day matches or championship as they are called... Skysports hardly shows championship matches but shows T 20 or 40 over version all the time... calling T20 rubbish, these kind of snobbish and elitist remarks are the reason why cricket in England trails behind Football in popularity stakes...TV rights in UK for cricket is 200 million Euros for three year period, while for Football for same period is 6.4 billion Euros !!!

  • dummy4fb on August 15, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    It is a fantastic idea to play day night test match cricket I am sure it will get intrest of others cricket playing countries and as well as spectators I think it will be a great success