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Day-night Test could debut next year Published: 08 September 2011

MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson has revealed talks with New Zealand Cricket about the possibility of hosting the first day-night Test match.

The Black Caps' Test against Zimbabwe, scheduled for Napier in January 2012, could be played under lights with a pink ball, if a trial match later this year is a success.

Stephenson said: “I'm currently in discussions with cricket New Zealand, hoping to organise a first-class match under lights with a pink ball between MCC and Northern Districts at the end of October in Hamilton.

“If that happens and it goes well and if NZC and the ICC are all happy we're hoping that might be the precursor to New Zealand playing Zimbabwe in a Test match under lights at the end of January.”

Reinvigorate

The news comes on the back of the announcement that Kent and Glamorgan will play a first-class match in the same conditions next week, the first of its kind in the UK.

Both the ECB and the ICC have expressed their support for the possibility of playing day-night Test cricket in the near future.

MCC has led the research into the feasibility of day-night Test cricket, as a means of reinvigorating dwindling crowds at Test matches in certain parts of the world.

For the past two seasons the Club has taken its traditional season curtain opener against the Champion County side to Abu Dhabi in order to experiment with the pink-format.

Stephenson admits the day-night format throws up different conditions in which to play, but is confident that players will easily readjust.

He added: “We've had two very good games in Abu Dhabi where the players adapted and there are periods of the game where, like in any form of cricket, you have to adapt.

“I'm just hoping the players will enjoy playing in a different format and I hope they see the ball well.

“It is always a danger with something new that if something goes wrong or someone drops a catch or misses a straight one, the colour of the ball will be blamed.

“But that is something that happens in any form of cricket, with a dark red ball even, sometimes you don't pick it up or miss a straight one."

WCC and Test cricket

MCC’s World Cricket Committee sees day-night Test cricket as something which can help to keep Test cricket as the pinnacle of the international game throughout cricket-playing nations.

It has put forward several suggestions for reinvigorating Test cricket, particularly in countries where attendances are in decline.

The WCC has sat twice a year since its formation in 2006 and features illustrious past players, administrators and umpires from across the globe.


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