BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur confirmed that day-night Test matches were one of the options being explored to boost Test cricket's popularity in India
It’s almost as if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has taken to the idea of day-night tests (or pink ball cricket) like a duck would do to water. Last month, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur announced that India would be hosting its first day-night Test match later this year when New Zealand come calling for their full tour.
On Thursday, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland confirmed that the BCCI was looking beyond the Test match against New Zealand, proposing another day-night match against Australia when they tour India early next year.
“I think there’s certainly some positive signals coming out of India and other parts of the world (regarding day-night Tests)," Sutherland was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “Indicatively they’ve started talking to us about the prospect of playing a day-night Test match against Australia when Australia tours in February and March of next year."
He added, “That’s just a pretty strong indicator of where things are at. When you look at the big picture it’s probably not surprising because day-night Test cricket is just a no-brainer really, giving more opportunities for fans to get along to the cricket and watch it on TV."
Last month, Thakur confirmed that day-night Test matches were one of the options the BCCI was exploring to boost Test cricket’s popularity in India. “We have decided to play one Day/Night Test match with a pink ball against New Zealand later this year. Before that, the Duleep Trophy will act as a dress rehearsal for the Day/Night Test match," Thakur said.
He added that the BCCI hadn’t zeroed in on the venue, but subsequent news reports suggested that Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium could be leading that shortlist.
Thakur added, “There are lots of factors that need to be taken into account. Things like dew factor, how the spinners bowl with the pink Kookaburra (ball) on Indian pitches. The Duleep Trophy will serve some pointers."
New Zealand Cricket welcomed India’s proposal, with Lindsay Crocker, the head of cricket operations saying, “India are quite definitive, which is quite exciting because they seem quite committed to the idea. We hadn’t considered that would be an option, so there is a bit of water to go under the bridge from our side."
Australia will host its second day-night Test against Pakistan in December at the historic Gabba in Brisbane. South Africa, due to tour Australia later this year, were offered a chance to play the third test of the series at Adelaide under lights. But reservations from their leading players, including captain A.B. de Villers, prompted Cricket South Africa to reject Australia’s offer.
Pakistan, it was reported last month, are hoping to host the West Indies in a day-night Test in October, a match they see as a preparation for the pink-ball Test in Brisbane.
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