With the Ashes series continuing this weekend, the latest Test Match – taking place at the Adelaide Oval – provides another landmark in the development of floodlit cricket as it will be the first meeting between England and Australia to be played under day/night regulations and with a pink ball, an idea for the game which was originally proposed by MCC.
After England’s heavy defeat in the opening match at the Gabba earlier this week, it will be under the lights at the Adelaide Oval where they will be aiming to get off the mark for the series, and the tourists will be buoyed by the fact that in their only day/night Test so far, against the West Indies in August at Edgbaston, they sealed a huge victory.
The MCC World Cricket committee first proposed day/night Tests at its meeting at Lord's back in May 2008. In February 2010, it was announced that the MCC v Champion County match in Abu Dhabi later that year would become the Club’s first trial of pink ball first-class cricket under floodlights, with the long-term aim of introducing day/night Tests. All of MCC's matches on that tour were played with pink balls.
The MCC World Cricket committee released a statement in July 2010 confirming that the trial had been successful and stating its belief that the time was right to play day/night Test cricket. The committee continued its advocacy ahead of the first Test Match under lights, which was played at Adelaide in November 2015 between Australia and New Zealand.
There have been six day/night Test matches played so far, between various teams. The upcoming clash in Adelaide will be the third to have been played at the ground, with the others having taking place in Brisbane, Dubai and Edgbaston. England will also provide the opposition for New Zealand’s first home day/night Test Match, which will be held at Eden Park, Auckland in March 2018.
MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson said, “To have a day/night Test Match in such a high profile global series really underlines the work and investment that MCC has put into day/night cricket over the last ten years.
“MCC is committed to growing the game on a global basis and bringing Test cricket to a wider audience, and we see floodlit pink ball Tests as a key component of this.”