South Africa agree to play day-night test in Australia
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Cricket South Africa (CSA) have overcome their initial hesitancy and confirmed on Wednesday that the third and final test of the tour of Australia will be a day-night fixture at Adelaide Oval starting on Nov. 24.
The Proteas had been reluctant to be involved in a day-night match having never played with a pink ball but with two warm-up matches under lights planned for the October-November tour, CSA said they were now willing to play the fixture.
"Following careful consideration and engagement with all our test players, and acknowledging the need to exploit the potential of playing day-night test match cricket, I am pleased to announce that we have agreed with Cricket Australia to proceed with this fixture," CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement on Wednesday.
"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."
South Africa captain AB de Villiers added that the major concern for the players was having adequate preparation with a pink ball.
"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," he said.
"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."
The first day-night test was played between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide last year and drew 124,000 spectators despite only lasting three days.
The highest score in all four innings was 224, with Australia winning by three wickets.
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by John O'Brien)