Adelaide Oval all set to host another day-night Test match between Australia and South Africa
After the initial hesitance, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have agreed to play a day-night Test during their tour of Australia later this year. The third and the final fixture between the two teams will be played under the lights with a pink ball at the Adelaide Oval and will commence on November 24, 2016.
The Proteas had been reluctant with the prospect of a day-night match citing that they hadn’t had enough time to prepare and adapt to the challenges that a pink ball game possesses. This decision by CSA has been taken after two warm-up matches under similar conditions were planned for them during the October-November tour.
"Our Proteas were initially hesitant to play such a key Test match without previous experience and adequate preparation, but after working through all their concerns and the possible options to prepare sufficiently, there is new-found excitement for this novel Test match. Our players deserve credit for the way they have worked through their concerns which were clearly not insignificant," said CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat in a statement.
A similar type of lead-up was enjoyed by the New Zealand cricket team when they played the first ever day-night Test match last year. The Black Caps played against the Prime Ministers XI match with the pink ball and a two-day warm-up match against Western Australia.
"We were never against this exciting concept, but only wanted to give ourselves the best opportunity of competing in conditions that will be new and foreign to us. Two warm-up matches will hopefully give us an idea of what to expect and hopefully our preparations will help us to adapt accordingly.
"This will be the first time that our players in the Test squad will play pink ball Test match cricket in front of such a large crowd and to be part of this novel concept will no doubt be a landmark moment in all of our careers," said AB de Villiers, South Africa's Test captain.
In addition to the two warm-up matches before the series, a few experienced players, including Dean Elgar, Vernon Philander and Wayne Parnell are named in the South Africa A team which will be touring Australia in July. The first unofficial Test match between South Africa A and Australia A, which is scheduled to start on July 30 will feature the pink Kookaburra ball. Though the game will not be a day-night fixture, it will provide the players a chance to get familiar with the ball.
The Proteas’ acceptance has been appreciated by the Cricket Australia (CA) and their chief executive James Sutherland thanked the CSA for making the day-night fixture possible.
"Nearly 124 000 people attended the inaugural day-night Test match in Adelaide last year and there has been great anticipation about future day-night Tests since. It's wonderful that the next one in Australia will be against South Africa. This announcement will further fuel the excitement about what promises to be a fascinating series between formidable rivals," said Sutherland.
The first day-night Test match was also played at the Adelaide Oval between New Zealand and Australia last year and commenced on November 27 and since then the cricket boards across the world have been quite positive about it. Australia will also play a pink ball game against Pakistan at home, which will start on December 15, while India are set to play a day-night Test against West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.