Cricket Australia has confirmed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have declined the offer to play a pink-ball test on India’s tour of Australia starting on December 6 at the Adelaide Oval under floodlights. The first test will now be contested as a day game.
Cricket Australia released a statement on the issue, saying, “We can confirm that we have received advice from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that it is not prepared to participate in a proposed day-night Test in Adelaide this summer.”
Cricket Australia wanted the first test match to be played under lights due to the growing popularity of pink-ball cricket in the country and also to give themselves an opportunity to bring in bigger crowds to attend the matches. “Whilst we appreciate some Adelaide fans may be disappointed, we know how popular the Adelaide Test is and look forward to hosting India there in December.”
In a statement last month, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland spoke about the association’s hopes of conducting a World Test Championship spanning two-years and culminating in a one-off final which will help the respective boards in hosting more day-night matches. He said, “We're hoping there will be some sort of regulation in there (the Test Championship) that will allow home teams to fixture at least one day-night Test match.”
Earlier this month, BCCI administrator Vinod Rai told AFP that the Indian team would not be taking part in the proposed day-night test match at the end of this year. "Yes, it's pretty clear that we are not playing a day-night Test in Australia, no doubt about it,” he said.
He further stated, “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.”
India have experimented with the pink ball in the domestic circuit but are sceptical about playing their first international day-night test overseas in such a high-profile series.
Vinod Rai went on to express his doubts about the pink ball itself being used in Duke and Kookaburra. “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,” said Rai.
This isn’t the first time that a cricket governing body has been reluctant to take part in a floodlit test. South Africa was initially reluctant to play their day-night match in 2016 sighting an extra advantage for the home team. South Africa went on to lose the match by 7 wickets.
So far, four day-night tests involving the pink ball, have been held and all have been won by Australia, which has also incidentally hosted all the matches.
The next day-night test match is scheduled to take place in Australia in January against Sri Lanka in Brisbane.