ICC Chief Executive David Richardson has congratulated Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on their landmark decision to play a day/night Test in Adelaide from 27 November to 1 December.
“I think it’s to be applauded,” commented Mr Richardson. “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. 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 had approved 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.
“I think the ICC Cricket Committee wants to make sure that Test cricket is sustainable well into the future, and to do that it has to remain relevant. 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 the other member countries, attendances for Test cricket are reducing. Whilst fans of the game might still view Test cricket as the ultimate challenge, follow it on the radio, on television etc, the numbers of people coming to the game seems to bediminishing.
“I think 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.
“You know even if they can’t attend the full day’s play, they can come after work and watch the final two sessions of play. I think we need to create alternatives, the opportunities for members to experiment in this regard, to play essentially when the cricket fans can watch it.”
Mr 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,” said Mr Richardson, adding: “It has been tried and tested in a number of first-class matches, in particular MCC did a lot of work trialling it in their first-class matches.
“I think we are ready at this stage where in the right conditions, day-night Test cricket is a viable option.”