Salisbury JournalDay-night Test planned Down Under (From Salisbury Journal)

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Day-night Test planned Down Under

Salisbury Journal: A pink ball could be used in Test cricket next year A pink ball could be used in Test cricket next year

Pink balls and floodlights are in the offing for Test cricket next year.

Administrators in Australia and New Zealand have identified their 2015/16 series as a chance to stage the first day-night Test match - in either Adelaide or Hobart.

The break with tradition appears likely to become a reality Down Under next November - with what would be the inaugural day-night match in the near 140-year history of cricket's elite format.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland reports that bi-lateral plans between his governing body and New Zealand are at an advanced and encouraging stage.

He has made it clear too, however, that neither the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne nor the new year match in Sydney will be affected - because both are such a success in their traditional time slot, during holiday weeks.

"The challenge is to try to make Test cricket more accessible for fans," he said.

"We are serious about pushing ahead with the concept of day-night Test cricket.

"We feel it will only strengthen the position and possibilities for Test cricket in many parts of the world."

Experiments with the concept of floodlit first-class cricket have been ongoing in recent years.

The MCC has helped to drive forward the innovation by moving its traditional match against the champion county to Abu Dhabi, rather than Lord's, and playing the fixture partially under lights with a pink ball.

The International Cricket Council too has long been open to staging day-night Tests when and where appropriate.

Sutherland believes day-night Test cricket during working weeks presents a new opportunity for bigger crowds and television audiences.

He added: "We're not talking about playing the Boxing Day Test or New Year's Test at night.

"The summer holiday period in Australia really lends itself to Tests, but at other times of the year it can be difficult for fans to attend or watch Test matches."

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "The discussion on day-night Tests started in 2008, and I'm pleased that we are now at a stage where two of our members are contemplating playing the first ever day-night Test."

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