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Warne backs pink ball day/night Tests

Shane Warne in action for Australia
Shane Warne in action for Australia

Australia legend Shane Warne has said day/night Test cricket could be an innovation that helps the game, subject to player approval.

MCC have been trialling day/night long-form cricket with a pink ball during the last five years and Warne, despite admitting he is a traditionalist at heart, believes that day/night Tests could be positive for the game.

"I’m a traditionalist I suppose", said the 44-year-old, who played 145 Tests for his country.

"I like to see white clothes and a red ball, but I’m all for innovation if it’s improving the game.

"If it’s a change to improve the game then okay, let’s try it. We don’t want to see bowlers all over the batsmen or whatever because we want to see a contest, so if the batsmen can pick it up okay and the pink ball doesn’t do anything silly under lights and it works, and the public like it, then that's great, let’s give it a go."

Could the pink ball save Test cricket?

MCC have been at the forefront of testing of pink-ball day/night cricket, as Test cricket audiences have been dwindling in certain parts of the cricketing world.

The Club have held the annual Champion County fixture under floodlights in Abu Dhabi since 2010, as a trail, with those matches being played in traditional cricket whites, under lights, with pink balls and a black sightscreen.

India batsmen Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag have both flourished in the curtain raiser fixture, with Dravid scoring a century in 2011 and Sehwag making a match-winning hundred for MCC in the 2014 match.

ICC backing

In 2012, the International Cricket Council backed day/night Test cricket, giving the proposals the go-ahead subject to two member nations agreeing to the playing conditions.

However, there has yet to be a Test match played under lights.

Cricket Australia have supported floodlit first-class cricket, with testing taking place in Sheffield Shield matches, and the first day/night Test match being mooted between Australia and New Zealand in 2015.

Warne, who will captain the Rest of the World side in the Lord’s Bicentenary game against MCC on Saturday 5 July, believes that day/night Test cricket could be a welcome boost to the format.

"People can follow the Test when they get home from work - they can either come to the ground or watch it on TV, so it’s a great innovation for them to be able to do that.

"Anything to keep people interested in Test cricket whether that’s in person or on TV is great."

Shane Warne: "Day/Night Tests could be a good innovation"

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