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PCB announces 10 day-night first-class matches for upcoming domestic season

The ten matches include the two semi-finals as well as the final of the Quaid-e-Azam(QEA) Trophy - Pakistan's premier domestic competition.

Pink ball cricket Pakistan
The move is aimed at preparing Pakistan’s premier players for the day-night Test against Australia in December

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Monday that ten day-night matches will be played in the Quaid-e-Azam (QEA) Trophy starting from September as part of the preparations for Pakistan’s first ever day-night Test against Australia set to take place in Brisbane this year in December, ESPN Cricinfo reports. 

The suggestion put forward by the domestic cricket committee was accepted by the governing board of the PCB who clarified that the two semi-finals and the final itself will be among the ten matches so as to ensure that the nation’s top players are well acquainted in time for the Brisbane Test. 

The QEA trophy, considered Pakistan’s premier domestic competition will feature 16 teams in total – eight regional and eight departmental teams each. Six teams from each section will gain automatic selection for the main tournament based on their performances in the previous season while the remaining four teams will be selected on the basis on the basis of a qualifying round which will feature 14 teams. 

Pakistan, who along with Australia, have for long been advocates of day-night Test cricket, having flirted with the idea almost six years, have used the QEA trophy in the past as well for implementing the same. While the final of the 2010-11 season in Karachi was played with an orange ball, the 2011-12 edition saw the deciding match being played with a pink ball. 

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The 2015-16 season finale also saw the latest set of pink balls being experimented but the clash between Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq-led Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and Younis Khan-skippered United Bank drew mixed responses as a few players complained about the visibility of the ball, especially once it got older. 

The PCB will certainly be hoping that the latest experiments set to be carried out in the new domestic season will help the players more acquainted with an experiment which is here to stay.

PCB not in favour of four-day Tests 

While offering its full support in the efforts to promote day-night Test matches, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan made it clear that he was vehemently against any proposal which aimed at reducing the length of Test matches from the present five-day format by a day. 

"Our stance is clear that trying to have day and night Test matches is a good initiative as it does not change the traditional format. The beauty of Test cricket lies in five-day matches and if good pitches are prepared no reason why matches should finish early," Khan said, as reported by NDTV Sports.  

"Right now our priority lies in helping the Pakistan team prepare properly for its first day and night Test and in this regard captain Misbah-ul-Haq has also given us some constructive recommendations on how to use the pink ball," he added. 

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