ICC congratulates Australia, New Zealand for in day-night Test

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Dubai, June 30 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) congratulated Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on their landmark decision to play a day-night Test in Adelaide from November 27 to December 1.

“It’s to be applauded. Day-night first class cricket has been trialled in a number of countries. Australia and New Zealand are taking the step now, quite a bold step, in staging a match, the first of its kind. It’s a recognition of the fact that cricket is obviously about the players but it’s also about the fans and we want to grow cricket worldwide,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said on Monday night.

“We want cricket to sustain itself, especially Test cricket, well into the future. It needs to increase and continue to grow, keep the fans flooding back and coming to watch Test cricket. For that reason, I congratulate the New Zealand and the Australian players for agreeing to be taking that step into the unknown and having the courage to do so.”

The ICC approved of the playing conditions for day-night Tests in 2012 after successful trials of pink balls in Australia, England, Pakistan and South Africa. The ICC Cricket Committee in its May meeting in Mumbai had once again encouraged the member boards to take advantage of these playing conditions and play Tests under lights.

The chief executive also stressed the reason behind developing such a concept is to have more people coming to the grounds for the longest format of the game.

“We have to play Test cricket at times when it is convenient for people to come and watch. We have seen trends in some countries, not necessarily England and Australia, but certainly in a number of other member countries, attendances for Test cricket are reducing,” Richardson said.

“Whilst fans might still view Test cricket as the ultimate challenge, follow it on the radio, on TV etc., the numbers of people coming to the game seems to be diminishing. It’s the realisation that time is precious in the modern day and that’s just one way in which Test cricket audiences perhaps can be encouraged and improved.”

Richardson added: “Even if they can’t attend the full day’s play, they can come after work and watch the final two sessions of play. We need to create alternatives, the opportunities for members to experiment in this regard, to play essentially when cricket fans can watch it.”

Richardson said that following a series of trial matches, pink ball was ready for use in day-night Tests.

“Finally, with some very hard work from the manufacturers, we have a ball now that is suitable to be used. It has been tried and tested in a number of first class matches. We are ready at this stage where in the right conditions, day-night Test cricket is a viable option,” concluded Richardson.

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