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Shouldn't 'overkill' day-night Tests - Lyon

Nathan Lyon has said Test cricket should be kept "as traditional as possible with the odd pink ball game"

Brydon Coverdale
Brydon Coverdale
Nathan Lyon has urged cricket to avoid "overkill" in its scheduling of day-night Tests, as Australia prepare for their second of back-to-back pink-ball Tests this summer. The Australia-Pakistan game at the Gabba will be the fourth day-night Test ever played - the first was in Adelaide last summer and the other was between Pakistan and West Indies in Dubai this year.
And a day-night Ashes Test next summer appears a certainty, with Cricket Australia expected to announce the 2017-18 schedule later this week. Although there will likely be one day-night Test in next year's Ashes, Cricket Australia will push for two pink-ball Tests during other home summers, as has been the case this season.
"I don't think we need to overkill it," Lyon said. "It's been a great success down in Adelaide but I think it's quite important we leave Test cricket still a traditional game. We don't come in and overkill the pink ball.
"I know the game's moving forward but I'm a big believer in trying to keep Test match cricket as traditional as possible with the odd pink ball game. I'd hate to see a five Test match Ashes series next year all pink ball."
Clearly such an extreme is not on the horizon, but Cricket Australia have been thrilled by the success of the Adelaide day-night Tests against New Zealand last summer and South Africa this season. This year's Adelaide Test brought in 125,993 spectators across four days, a record attendance in Adelaide for a non-Ashes Test.
The popularity of this week's Gabba Test will be revealing, for Adelaide fans have embraced the day-night concept and many treated the Test as a social occasion. Cricket Australia is trying to create a sense of occasion around the Gabba day-nighter too, and a pool deck has even been installed in one section of the crowd.
But the ongoing success of day-night Test cricket will rest in large part on the quality of the play: in Adelaide last year, runs were hard to come by on a green pitch, but this summer batsmen found more opportunity to get set for a big innings. The pink ball itself is also undergoing an evolution process, with the seam darkened this year to help with visibility.
"I do like the concept," Lyon said. "I think the ball has improved from last year but I think there is still room for improvement there and I know Kookaburra is working hard on that."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale