Domain Tests v India

CA hopeful, but BCCI hesitant over DN Test

Cricket Australia optimistic over Adelaide Test being played under lights but Indian board official says it's unlikely

AFP & Cricket Network

4 May 2018, 01:12 PM AEST

Cricket Australia remains hopeful of staging a day-night Test against India this summer despite a senior BCCI official seemingly ruling it out due to doubts over the quality of the pink ball.

A CA spokesperson confirmed they are still in ongoing discussions with the Board of Control for Cricket in India over whether the Adelaide Test from December 6 will be played under lights.

But the latest public indication from the BCCI would appear to cast doubt over the chances of the Test being played as a day-night affair.

"Yes, it's pretty clear that we are not playing a day-night Test in Australia, no doubt about it," BCCI administrator Vinod Rai told AFP on Thursday.

"We have been saying this all along that we are experimenting with pink ball cricket in the Duleep Trophy (India's domestic competition) and that's it for now."

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CA chief executive James Sutherland has lobbied hard for top-ranked India to play a day-night match, but hinted the tourists would be reluctant to concede an advantage to Australia, who have won all three pink ball Tests at Adelaide.

"I think everyone in world cricket knows that, to be frank, I think they want to come out here and beat us," Sutherland told SEN on Wednesday.

"There's a sense, or a reality, that Australia has won each of the pink-ball Test matches that have been played in Australia and there may be a sense that it gives us a bit of an advantage."

This latest development comes after another BCCI official, acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary, only last week announced that one of India's two Tests at home to West Indies later this year will be played under lights. 

"I had consulted the Indian team management, the selectors, the office bearers and all were in agreement that one of the two Tests against West Indies will be a day-night Test," Chaudhary was quoted as saying by Indian media in Kolkata during an International Cricket Council conference.

India's hopes of notching their first Test series win in Australia will be boosted as the hosts' star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner are serving 12-month bans for ball tampering.

Rai, who heads a special committee appointed by India's Supreme Court to run the BCCI, said India would not be forced into playing a day-night Test.

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"Nobody can put a gun on to our head and say play (day-night cricket). There have been doubts about the pink ball itself in Duke and Kookaburra," Rai said, referring to the English and Australian ball manufacturers.

The powerful BCCI are one of only two national governing bodies to have avoided playing pink ball cricket at the international level, with Bangladesh the other.

India experimented with pink ball cricket in its Duleep Trophy domestic championship in 2016 but administrators and top players are wary about playing at international level. 

India will tour Australia from November 21 to January 19 with four Tests, three Twenty20 internationals and three one-day games on the schedule.

Australia, after playing the first floodlit Test at the Adelaide Oval in 2015 against New Zealand, also hosted South Africa the following year and England last November in day-night Tests. They won all the three games.