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AUSTRALIA V NEW ZEALAND TESTS

Adelaide to host first day-night Test

30 June 2015

Australia and New Zealand confirmed to play Test under lights with a pink ball in November while Chappell-Hadlee Trophy is reinvigorated

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The Adelaide Oval will host the first ever day-night Test match when Australia host New Zealand from November 27.

The historic event will be the third of a three-Test series against the Black Caps on Australian soil this summer and will be the first to be played under lights and with a pink Kookaburra ball.

The match headlines a six-Test summer schedule released by Cricket Australia today, with the series against New Zealand followed by three Tests against West Indies that includes the marquee Boxing Day and New Year's matches.

Quick Single: Summer Test schedule and venues confirmed

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the day-night Test puts fans first, with more spectators able to attend or watch on television.

"One of the global challenges with Test cricket is that most of the matches outside holiday periods are played on week days, in the middle of the day when people are at work and kids are at school," Sutherland said.

"By shifting the playing times each day's play can go into the evening and allow people to come in after work or after school to attend the last few hours of play, but also when they get home in other parts of the world or other parts of the country, they can watch the game on TV."

The Chappell-Hadlee rivalry resumes

A start time for the day-night Test is still under consideration and not yet confirmed, but one possible scenario would see play start at 2.30pm and run until 9.30pm Adelaide time.

That would mean play would be from 3pm to 10pm in Melbourne and Sydney, 2pm to 9pm in Brisbane, noon to 7pm in Perth and 5pm to midnight in New Zealand.

In another break from Test cricket tradition, the longer 40-minute interval, known as 'lunch' in day Tests, could now be held between the second and third sessions, and would be known as 'dinner'.

The 20-minute break for tea would retain the same name, but it would be held between the first and second sessions in the day-night Test.

Quick Single: Day-night revolution keeps Tests relevant

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White labelled the move "another step forward in the evolution of the game".

"Since the first Test in 1877 there have been numerous changes to the laws and rules in an effort to ensure the game remains relevant – and this is another," White said.

"As administrators we owe it to the game to keep exploring ways of moving forward."

Chappell-Hadlee Trophy reinvigorated

Negotiations to secure the day-night Test have brought Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket closer together, also resulting in a commitment to stage six Chappell-Hadlee Trophy ODI series over the next four years.

Each series will be three matches – a total of 18 games in the time frame – with New Zealand to host four series, starting in early 2016, and Australia two others.

The day-night Test will not only be historic, but the opening day will also be a poignant one for the Australian team – it will be 12 months to the day that Phillip Hughes tragically passed away.

The late batsman, a close friend as well as teammate of many of the Australian players, died two days after he was struck by a short ball while batting in a Sheffield Shield match between NSW and South Australia at the SCG last year.

Last summer's Adelaide Test, the first of a hastily rearranged summer following Hughes's passing, was an emotional affair with David Warner, Steve Smith and Michael Clarke all scoring centuries in tribute to their fallen mate.

Quick Single: Coffs Harbour to host Hughes tribute match

Concerns over the pink ball, expressed by players from both sides, are hoped to be alleviated by a series of fixtures ahead of the Test match.

"We've worked very closely with the Australian Cricketers' Association and Kookaburra in the development of the ball and its continued upgrade to make it ready," said Sutherland.

"We'll make sure that the players from both teams are well prepared. We're working really closely with New Zealand Cricket in giving them the right tour matches and preparation before the ultimate day-night Test which is the last of the series.

"And similarly with our players. A number of our players have already had experience through Shield cricket.

"But those that haven't, we'll be finding opportunities for them to play with the pink balls and also to play under lights as well."

Those opportunities are expected to include another round of day-night Shield cricket before the Test series – an addition to the schedule that Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson wholeheartedly endorsed.

"The feedback from players in the Sheffield Shield trials to date have yielded a range of opinions but we've been pleased that their input has helped drive development in the quality of the pink balls and the match conditions generally," Nicholson said.

"Our focus has been on player safety and ensuring an even contest between bat and ball, and the upcoming matches for those in the Australian squad who are yet to play under these conditions will also be important.

"There is an appetite for the concept and it's crucial that those playing in this format have a strong voice in how it develops."

New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills said while players had reservations about the day-night concept, an enhanced trans-Tasman agreement was a "fantastic outcome for the game".

"It's fair to say our players are nervous about the day-night Test. It's uncharted territory and because of that there will be uncertainty and apprehension," said Mills.

"However, whilst the players have reservations about the concept, they can see the bigger picture in the new agreement, and the greater good it brings to all levels of the game."

Nine Entertainment Company chief executive David Gyngell also welcomed the concept.

"Bring it on,” Gyngell said. “Evolution is everything in elite sport and its coverage, and it's up to us all to think outside the square and meet these challenges.

"Let's give it a red-hot go and see what develops."

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About the Writer

 @Dave_Middleton
@Dave_Middleton

Dave Middleton is cricket.com.au's senior news editor. From Queensland, he spent 10 years in the UK where he wrote for The Times, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and The Telegraph.

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