Australia v South Africa Tests
Day-night Test future clouded as Proteas stall
South Africa players claim they would be 'disadvantaged' by lack of experience against pink ball
AAP & cricket.com.au
19 April 2016, 12:12 PM AEST
The future for day-night Test cricket at the Adelaide Oval remains clouded, with South Africa's players reportedly unwilling to face Australia with a pink Kookaburra ball.
Last year's inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand was the most successful of the 2015-16 summer, proving a ratings hit and with the highest average crowd across the three days of play.
However, the South Africans have yet to play with a pink ball at any level, in contrast to Australia where Sheffield Shield cricket has had day-night rounds for the past few seasons as well as the Test against New Zealand.
And while Cricket Australia have reportedly offered the Proteas a trial day-night game ahead of the match, the head of the South African players' association, Tony Irish, says it was an offer the team was unlikely to accept.
"Our players are not in favour of playing the game under those conditions," Irish told News Limited.
"The main reason is we feel disadvantaged. Not one of our players who will compete in that Test has played Test match cricket or any cricket with a pink ball."
The pink ball concerns appear not to be shared by Pakistan's players. It is understood a likely day-night fixture at the Gabba to begin the summer's second series against Pakistan, which will include the marquee Boxing Day and New Year Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, is not in danger.
A Cricket Australia spokesman would not comment on the day-night Test speculation, with the 2016-17 international schedule expected to be released on Wednesday.
"Piecing the summer schedule together is a complex task, that involves many working drafts, and is still very much a work in progress, including discussions with visiting cricket boards. We won't be drawn on commenting on speculation at this point in time," a CA spokesman said on Tuesday.
Australian players were reportedly quizzed by their South African counterparts during last month's Twenty20 series held in the country, a warm-up for the World T20. The Australian players were said to have passed on feedback that they struggled with the visibility of the ball and changing conditions.
Close to two million people watched the opening day of the historic day-night Test against New Zealand, while a record-breaking 47,441 people crammed into Adelaide Oval on day one for the spectacle.
A total of 123,736 attended across the three days of play, where the highest team total was 224 – which came in Australia's first innings that lasted 72.1 overs.
Meanwhile, the one-day Chappell-Hadlee series against New Zealand is expected to be announced to be played between the two Test tours later this year.
Negotiations to secure the day-night Test brought Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket closer together, resulting in a commitment to stage six Chappell-Hadlee Trophy ODI series between 2015 and 2019.
Each series will be three matches – a total of 18 games in the time frame – with New Zealand hosting the first of four series earlier this year, won by the Black Caps 2-1.