Cricket Australia Welcomes Idea Of Day-Night Tests After ICC Gives Green Light
Cricket Australia "welcomed the prospect" of day-night Tests following a decision by the sport's governing body that "paves the way for the long form of the game to be played under lights," according to the AP. The Int'l Cricket Council announced on Monday that Test-playing nations "can now agree to play day-night Test matches." Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland -- a "long-time advocate of day-night Tests" -- said that fans "have a better chance of watching matches if they are played at night." Sutherland said, "Test cricket is by definition played on at least three week days, times when most people are at work or school, and this limits the ability of fans to attend or watch on TV" (AP, 10/30).
QUESTION OF COLOR: In Sydney, Peter Lalor reported that Sutherland said that the ball color still remains a problem. Sutherland said, "Finding a Test ball that is as easily visible in the day as it is at night is still a technical work in progress that the ICC is now leading, and it has not yet been possible to predict when such a ball might be available. The traditional red ball is not regarded as suitable for night cricket because it is not as visible at night as it is in the day, and the ODI white ball is not suitable for Tests as it is not as durable as the red ball and does not last as well as a Test ball needs to last." He added, "Experiments with other colors such as pink, orange and yellow have seen some promising developments in recent times" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/31).
CLOUD NINE: In Sydney, Chloe Saltau reported that Channel Nine is "salivating at the prospect of staging day-night Tests, and will push for the floodlit fixtures to be part of the next media rights deal." Cricket Australia will "hold informal talks" with Nine in Brisbane next week. Nine Head of Sport Steve Crawley indicated that day-night Tests "would be on the agenda after the ICC gave them its imprimatur." Cricket authorities "have not reached consensus on a ball, but Nine's enthusiastic backing will add commercial momentum." CA is "banking on a significant increase" on the previous agreement, which was worth A$315M over seven years. The introduction of day-night Tests "would increase the value of the deal" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/31).