Domain Tests v India
CA wants more day-night Test freedom
CEO Sutherland says Test Championship regulations should include provision for floodlit matches
2 May 2018, 09:28 AM AEST
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland hopes the start of the new ICC Test Championship next year will allow teams to schedule day-night Tests at home without the approval of their opponent.
The start time for this summer's Adelaide Test remains clouded, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India yet to agree to play the match as a day-nighter, as has been the case at the venue in the past three years.
The current ICC Playing Conditions stipulate that a home nation can only host a day-night Test match "with the agreement of the Visiting Board" and Australia has previously convinced New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and England to play a Test under lights.
Apart from Pakistan, the other visiting teams have all expressed some reservations about playing against a pink ball; for example, South Africa didn't agree to play the 2016 Adelaide Test under lights until less than six months before the match was scheduled to begin.
The dates for India's four-Test tour of Australia this summer were announced on Monday and Sutherland remains optimistic of convincing the tourists to play the first Test in Adelaide as a day-nighter.
And he hopes that the introduction of the World Test Championship next year, a new-look Test league that will be played over a cycle of two years and culminate in a one-off final, will bring with it greater freedom for home boards to schedule day-night matches.
"I think personally the home country should have the right to schedule matches as it sees fit and start them at whatever time of day they want," Sutherland told SEN on Tuesday.
"The Adelaide Test match in the day-night format has been a huge success. It’s been a great story in terms of attendances, crowds and atmosphere but also television audiences. It's also the way of the future.
"India may or may not come around to that idea for this tour but I still believe it's the way of the future. I think everyone in world cricket knows that.
"It hasn't really got to a stage where there's agreement or regulation around the table at ICC level for the home countries to be able to schedule that.
"We're hoping there will be some sort of regulation in there (the Test Championship) that will allow home teams to fixture at least one day-night Test match."
India are one of just two Test nations (excluding newcomers Ireland and Afghanistan) yet to play a day-night Test, but a report from India last week indicated they may play one of two home Tests against West Indies in October under lights.
A pink-ball Test against the Windies, and the likelihood of at least one day-night tour match in Australia ahead of the Adelaide Test, would give Virat Kohli's side a chance to adjust to the new form of the game.
But given Australia will be without banned trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the world No.1 Indian side would fancy their chances of recording their first ever Test series win on Australian soil.
And Sutherland speculated that the prospect of a historic victory is behind India's reluctance to play a day-night Test.
"To be frank, I think they want to come out here and beat us," he said. "There’s a sense, or a reality, that Australia has won each of the pink-ball Test matches that have played in Australia and there may be a sense that it gives us a bit of an advantage."