Cricket Australia admits day-night Test in the Ashes a distinct possibility
James Sutherland, Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer (CEO), has admitted that there is a "distinct possibility" of the first day-night Ashes Test. With the modified version of Tests gaining widespread acceptance across various cricket boards, Sutherland hopes to see a pink ball Test match during the next battle for the urn in 2017-18.
The Cricket Australia has unveiled an astonishing schedule for the Australian summer, which includes day-night showdowns against Pakistan and South Africa (proposed) in Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.
"I think that's a distinct possibility," Sutherland told cricket.com.au about the day-night Ashes test. He appeared optimistic on taking other board members into confidence about the possibility and added, "In the next 12 months, we are going to see Test cricket being played in other countries other than Australia.
“I'm very confident that other member boards will be keen to do that and it'll become part of regular series. It might well be possible to have a day-night Test in the Ashes series in 2017-18.”
The proposed day-night Test against South Africa is yet to receive a green signal due to some reservations from the South African players. A lack of pink-ball experience is one of the major reasons behind the reluctance among the Proteas to play the proposed day-night Test in Adelaide this year.
The CEO though, seemed assured that the South African players would eventually agree on playing the day-night fixture and said, "I maintain my position that I continue to be optimistic about the Adelaide Test match being played as a day-night Test match."
He further ensured that the South African players will get enough opportunities to get accustomed to the various challenges that a day-night Test possesses.
“To some extent the bigger crowd can add a little bit of extra trepidation when they haven't played under lights before; hopefully as part of the plan here we'll provide as much opportunity for them to prepare with pink balls and under lights both back at home and leading into the Test match.
“It's a lot about making sure they have a comfortable preparation to get themselves ready for that game."
With Australia's next traditional battle against England to come the following summer, the Gabba and the Adelaide Oval will be the front-runners for the right to host the inaugural day-night Ashes Test.
The former Australian first-class player feels that the current generation is can adapt to deal with the continuous switching between the formats and the types of balls used. He remarked that it will not have an impact on the performances of the players and said, "I think it's something that in this current day and age players are used to doing. They're used to playing in different countries, chopping and changing from one format to another.
“The different colour balls is another thing that comes into it. But it's all part of being an international cricketer in this day and age."
The first day-night was played at the Adelaide with a pink Kookaburra ball between New Zealand and Australia last year on November 27. Australia won it comfortably within three days, something that happened at the Ovals for the first time since 1951.