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NZ-England Test to be played under lights

First pink-ball Test on New Zealand soil locked in for Auckland's Eden Park next year

New Zealand's first Test against England in Auckland next year will be played under lights, New Zealand Cricket has confirmed.

The Test at Eden Park scheduled to begin on March 22, will go ahead after a successful application for resource consent from the Auckland Council.

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The match is set to be the first day-night Test played in New Zealand, and will be the seventh men's Test – and eighth overall – to be played world-wide.

New Zealand Cricket chief operating officer Anthony Crummy said the time frame would make the Test more accessible for fans.

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"NZC has a particular focus on improving access to cricket for everyone," he said.

"Being able to stage the Test as a day-nighter is a significant step in the right direction.

"This means we can promote cricket in its most modern and vibrant incarnation; we can improve accessibility for new audiences, and we can showcase Eden Park, Auckland and New Zealand to a truly global audience."

Three of the five day-night Tests have been staged in Australia, including the inaugural Test between the Black Caps and Australia at Adelaide in November 2015.

Australia will host the sixth men's pink-ball Test during this summer's Magellan Ashes series at Adelaide Oval in November, while the first-ever women's day-night Test will take place between Australia and England at North Sydney Oval from November 9.

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In the most recent match between England and West Indies in Birmingham, 70,000 tickets were sold across the first three days.

Crummy said Test cricket was facing increasingly challenging times in terms of relevance and context, and this was being borne out by crowd numbers, viewership ratings and broadcast right values.

"This a very important outcome for Test cricket lovers in New Zealand - simply because it allows us the opportunity to play the game at a time when more people can engage with it."

Hours of play for the day-night Test sessions are expected to be from 2pm-4pm, 4.20pm-6.20pm and 7pm-9pm.