CRICKET Australia chief executive James Sutherland has welcomed the International Cricket Council’s decision to approve day-night Test matches.
The ICC announced on Monday that countries could play day-night Tests if they agree on the hours of play, precise brand, type and colour of ball.
Sutherland said the possibility of playing a day-night match would be put on the agenda when Australia discussed future tours.
“Test cricket is by definition played on at least three weekdays, times when most people are at work or school and this limits the ability of fans to attend or watch on TV,” he said.
“We limit ourselves by staging cricket’s premium format at times when fans often cannot watch. We know that the audience for the Perth Test, which is on TV in the evening on the east coast, is up significantly because fans in the east can tune in after work.
“CA has a formal strategic plan that demands that Australian cricket puts fans first and we will now add day-night Tests to the agenda when we talk to other Test nations about their future tours Down Under.”
Sutherland said there was still work to do before a day-night Test was an option, including making a suitable ball.
Several different colours have been trialled, testing for visibility and durability, but it remains unknown as to when a ball will be ready.
“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,” Sutherland said.
“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.
“Experiments with other colours such as pink, orange and yellow have seen some promising developments in recent times and Cricket Australia will, together with the ICC and ball manufacturers, continue to encourage research and development that delivers a ball with the optimal colour and durability for Test cricket.” (PA Sport)