Melbourne: Cricket Australia on Tuesday welcomed ICC's decision to approve the much-debated concept of playing day-night Test matches, and said the world body's new ruling will pave the way for day-night Tests becoming a reality soon. (Agencies)
In a decision intended to boost the flagging popularity of the five-day game, the ICC yesterday gave its nod to day-night Test matches but left it to the interested parties to choose the type of ball to be used.
CA chief executive officer James Sutherland, who has long argued that cricket needs to recognise that fans have a better chance of watching Test cricket if it is played at night, patted ICC for their innovative decision.
"Test cricket is by definition played on at least three week days, times when most people are at work or school, and this limits the ability of fans to attend or watch on TV," he said in a statement.
"We limit ourselves by staging cricket's premium format at times when fans often cannot watch. We know that the audience for the Perth Test, which is on TV in the evening on the east coast, is up significantly because fans in the East can tune in after work.
"CA has a formal strategic plan that demands that Australian cricket puts fans first and we will now add day-night Tests to the agenda when we talk to other Test nations about their future tours down-under," Sutherland added.
While announcing the new ruling, the ICC said that the home and visiting boards will decide on the hours of play which will be six hours of scheduled play per day apart from deciding on the precise brand, type and colour of ball to be used for the match.
Sutherland believed that the shorter formats of the game had shown that batsmen could make big scores under lights.
He also said that he didn't want to create expectations that day-night Tests are just around the corner.
"Finding a Test ball that is as easily visible in the day as it is at night is still a technical work in progress that the ICC is now leading and it has not yet been possible to predict when such a ball might be available," the CA chief said.
"The traditional red ball is not regarded as suitable for night cricket because it is not as visible at night as it is in the day, and the ODI white ball is not suitable for Tests as it is not as durable as the red ball and does not last as well as a Test ball needs to last," Sutherland elaborated.
"Experiments with other colours such as pink, orange and yellow have seen some promising developments in recent times and Cricket Australia will, together with the ICC and ball manufacturers, continue to encourage research and development that delivers a ball with the optimal colour and durability for Test cricket," he added.
Melbourne: Cricket Australia on Tuesday welcomed ICC's decision to approve the much-debated concept of playing day-night Test matches, and said the world body's new ruling will pave the way for day-night Tests becoming a reality soon.