SYDNEY: Australia Cricket Board revealed the plans on Wednesday for day-night Test matches against South Africa and Pakistan, but admitted player concerns about the experimental format which meant the South Africans’ fixture was not locked in.
Day-night Tests with a pink ball are a major part of Australia’s home international schedule for 2016-17, which also features one-day internationals matches against three nations.
The inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last season as an outstanding success, attracting 123,000 spectators and an average television audience of two million.
Nevertheless, players from both sides complained about the pink ball’s movement and durability, specially the difficulty for the batsmen faced seeing it under lights.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Pakistan had agreed to play a day-night Test in Brisbane, but South Africa’s players had refused to commit to a similar fixture in Adelaide.
He added that we believe that having the ability to move matches into the evenings provides cricket fans with greater access to the game, both on the ground and at home on TV, and there is no doubt that this will help grow interest in Test cricket.
Even for cricket fans at home in South Africa there are benefits. The Day-Night Test hours will allow the match to be televised in a far more attractive time of day in South Africa.
The pink ball has been developed for day-night Test cricket matches, which replaced the traditional red ball which mainly becomes too difficult for batsmen to see after dark.
Our players are not for playing the game under those conditions, South African Board Chief Executive Tony Irish said in an interview to The Australian newspaper.
The main reason is we feel disadvantaged. Not one of our players who will compete in that Test has played Test match cricket, or any cricket, with a pink ball.
Australia – South Africa Test series:
1st Test: Nov 3-7 at Perth
2nd Test: Nov 12-16 at Hobart
3rd Test: Nov 24-28 at Adelaide
Australia – New Zealand ODI series:
1st ODI: Dec 4 at Sydney
2nd ODI: Dec 6 at Canberra
3rd ODI: Dec 9 at Melbourne
Australia – Pakistan Test series:
1st Test: Dec 15-19 at Brisbane (day-night)
2nd Test: Dec 26-30 at Melbourne
3rd Test: Jan 3-7 at Sydney
Australia – Pakistan ODI series:
1st ODI: Jan 13 at Brisbane
2nd ODI: Jan 15 at Melbourne
3rd ODI: Jan 19 at Perth
4th ODI: Jan 22 at Sydney
5th ODI: Jan 26 at Adelaide
Australia – Sri Lanka T20I series:
1st T20I: Feb 17
2nd T20I: Feb 19
3rd T20I: Feb 22