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Australia-New Zealand could play first ever day-night Test next year

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Published: Monday, June 30, 2014, 11:13 [IST]
 
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First ever day-night Test likely in 2015

Melbourne, June 30: Australia and New Zealand could play the first ever day-night Test match next year with both boards working out plans to play the five-day game with the pink ball under lights.

Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have progressed plans to stage an historic day-night Test match, possibly as early as the 2015-16 season, CA said in a media release today.

CA Chief Executive James Sutherland and NZC Chief Executive David White met in Melbourne last week during the International Cricket Council (ICC) Annual Conference to discuss the concept.

Sutherland and White are working on plans to stage the match when New Zealand tours Australia in November 2015. The likely venue in Australia is still to be determined, CA said.

The discussions come after the ICC paved the way for member countries to work together on staging Test cricket under lights.

"We are serious about pushing ahead with the concept of day-night Test cricket," said Sutherland.

"We feel it will only strengthen the position and possibilities for Test cricket in many parts of the world.

"There are many Test matches played during non-holiday periods when adults are at work and kids are at school. That's not an ideal way to promote the highest form of the game. In fact there isn't a major team sport in the world that schedules the majority of its premium content during the working week.

"We're not talking about playing the Boxing Day or New Year's Test at night. The summer holiday period in Australia really lends itself to Test cricket, but at other times of the year it can be difficult for fans to attend or watch Test matches, be it here or in other parts of the world.

"That's really at the heart of the issue. The challenge is to try to make Test cricket more accessible for fans."

White said Cricket Australia had been at the forefront of exploring a pathway towards day-night Tests and that New Zealand Cricket was looking forward to contributing - especially in terms of helping develop a new pink ball suitable for Test conditions.

"Australia continue to assess conditions to ensure they are appropriate to stage Test cricket at night, and we fully support that duty of care", said White.

"Ensuring the ball behaves as closely as possible to the red ball is vital for the success of this initiative."

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