Pakistan news November 2, 2012

PCB welcomes day-night Tests

The PCB has welcomed the possibility of the day-night Tests, calling the change a "boost in the game's value for the host boards."

The ICC announced earlier this week that Tests can now be played under lights, allowing the boards of the two countries involved to decide on playing times and the brand, type and colour of the ball used. Pakistan have already experimented with day-night long-form cricket twice, by playing their first-class Quaid-e-Azam trophy final in January 2011 and December 2011 under lights with orange ball, instead of the pink ball that has been mainly used by various other boards.

The Executive Coordination Committee of PCB met at Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday and welcomed the ICC's decision. "Cricket has changed over time and this decision (of day-night Tests) would provide the cricket fans with an opportunity to watch the cricket matches played under this format during prime-time television," PCB said. "The Committee observed that the application of the concept would also increase the product value of these matches for the host boards."

Pakistan has been a no-go country for major international teams after the attack on Sri Lankan team in March 2009. Since then, Pakistan have played their 'home' series away from home, mostly in UAE - where Pakistan failed to draw too much of a crowd for the Test matches, partly due to play being during working hours. Pakistan's last home Test series was against England earlier this year in UAE and the next Test series is against South Africa in October next year.

Experiments over the past couple of years have shown that either pink or orange balls are easier to sight than the traditional red one under lights. West Indies, England and Bangladesh have experimented with pink balls. The PCB, however, was undecided over the colour of the ball to be used for day-night Tests, though it has preferred the orange ball to the pink one in domestic trials. The experiment proved successful with the captains, umpires, referee and broadcaster giving encouraging feedback over the visibility of the ball.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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