Australia to face Pakistan in cricket’s first night Test

December 28th, 2008 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Dec 28 (IANS) It is almost certain that the first night cricket Test will see Australia facing Pakistan in the southern hemisphere’s next summer at the Adelaide Oval, most likely in November.Cricket Australia (CA) will seek International Cricket Council (ICC) approval for the day-night match - to be played at the Adelaide Oval in November. The move comes after growing pressure from television networks to play the AFL Grand Final under lights. Even next year’s Formula One Grand Prix is set to start at twilight.

The Herald Sun reported that while CA is publicly reserved about releasing the target date, it has privately commissioned to step up work on developing a suitable ball for the day-night Tests.

The Test is proposed to start at 2 p.m., following the timeslot of regular one-day internationals played under lights. National broadcaster Channel 9 also supports the concept.

“Test cricket is our premium form of the game so why wouldn’t you play it at a time when most people can watch it? There’s no doubt it will happen - people can go after work and it’s a cooler time of the day for spectators and fans,” CA chief executive James Sutherland was quoted as saying by the daily.

“Look at the Olympics, the NRL and the AFL and how much of it is played at night these days because it’s a more convenient time for viewers and fans,” he added.

But for CA the main task is to find a suitable ball and they are committed to find the solution by November.

“The white ball for one-day cricket that lasts 50 overs is not suitable,” Sutherland said.

The day-night Test is sure to spark debate from puritans. However, chief executive of the Nine Network (which holds broadcast rights) David Gyngell said it would be an immediate hit.

“There was a lot of debate about one-day cricket, there was a lot of debate about Twenty20 cricket, but ultimately the paying public and viewing public make their own decisions…the punters always win,” Gyngell said.

“I think the city of Adelaide would support it whole-heartedly and I know the viewers will support it. When Perth Test matches are on and it goes late into the eastern states, you see support in the (viewer) numbers.”

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