BCCI keeps CA waiting for day-night Test
India are scheduled to tour Australia for four Tests during the winter of 2018-19
What's the story?
The BCCI has kept its Australian counterpart Cricket Australia on hold regarding confirmation about playing a day-night Test on their potential tour of Australia this winter. While it has been understood that the CA are keen to play India at home in what would be the visitors' first day-night Test and also Australia's first floodlit encounter against India, the BCCI are to respond CA's offer as the latter seek to finalise their calendar for the 2018-19 summer.
In case you didn't know..
Ever since the inaugural day-night Test was played between Australia and New Zealand at Adelaide in 2015, every home season has seen Australia host at least one such fixture: in fact, the following year there were two day-night Tests – at Adelaide and Brisbane against South Africa and Pakistan, respectively – while during the 2017-18 Ashes, England also participated in a Test under lights at Adelaide.
Apart from Australia, other nations to have played host to the format are the UAE, which saw Pakistan play West Indies and Sri Lanka, England, who hosted West Indies in 2017 and South Africa, who played Zimbabwe last December. Also, New Zealand are scheduled to host a day-night Test against England at Auckland next month while West Indies are due to play Sri Lanka at Barbados this June.
The heart of the matter
India's tour to Australia in late 2018 will see the teams play four Tests for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and as Australia and England have the reputation of announcing their home fixtures well in advance in order to facilitate the fans, Cricket Australia were keen to know the BCCI's opinion on a day-night Test. It is understood that the Indian board will seek the opinion of captain Virat Kohli and the chairman of selector MSK Prasad before finalising things.
About Tests being played with the pink ball under lights, a senior BCCI official said, "Cricket has evolved over a period of time; time could not resist one-day cricket and time could not resist Twenty20. The BCCI had to take women’s cricket under its umbrella. People have seen 3000 spectators at a recent Test match at the Eden Gardens. I think the future of Test cricket is in day/night matches.’’
Another official preferred India to have played a day-night game at home before playing one away. "Why not play a day-night Test at home first and get accustomed to it?’’ he said.
India are currently on a tour of South Africa which has one ODI and the 3 T20s left. Just after that, Australia themselves will be playing four Tests in South Africa before the IPL takes over in April.
Despite the BCCI having already trialled numerous first-class matches with a pink ball, it is surprising that they have themselves not hosted a day-night Test so far. They might have the excuse of India having not yet played such a fixture as the CA seek their approval, but even New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies and Sri Lanka were due to do the same when they were invited for – and eventually played in – a Test under lights.