SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Venerable Test cricket, 138 years after its origins, is about to get a glitzy makeover in this week’s first-ever day-night Test match between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide.
While playing with a pink ball under lights is an anathema to staunch cricket traditionalists, administrators are pointing to dwindling crowds and outdated scheduling as they attempt to move the Test format into the 21st century.
Emboldened by the success of Twenty20 with its frenetic pace and slick innovation, Cricket Australia is trialling day-night Test cricket from Friday in a bid to attract more fans and interest.
PCB interested in Cricket Australia’s day-night Test offer
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland is a leading proponent and believes it should be viewed as part of the evolution of the five-day game.
“We know and understand we need to shift entertainment into periods of the day that are more appealing,” said Sutherland .
“I love all cricket but my preferred format of the game is Test cricket. And I honestly believe if we do nothing then we are at risk of loving Test cricket to death.”
Tickets for the day-night Test match, where play will be from 2:00-9:00 pm local time, are selling briskly, with Cricket Australia comparing the interest to a high-demand Ashes series against England.