Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

Cricket Australia scraps day-night Test against India after BCCI refusal

December 6-10 Test at Adelaide will now be a day game after Indian board says it is not yet ready to experiment with pink ball

Dubai has hosted day-night Tests even as India have avoided experimenting at the international level. Aamir Qureshi / AFP
Dubai has hosted day-night Tests even as India have avoided experimenting at the international level. Aamir Qureshi / AFP

Australia have been forced to scrap a day-night Test and will hold the game in normal hours instead after India refused to play, cricket officials said on Tuesday.

Cricket Australia had pencilled in the December 6-10 Test in Adelaide as a pink-ball match but India baulked at playing under floodlights.

"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," CA chief James Sutherland said in a statement. "As a result, we can now confirm this Test match will be a day format."

CA believes day-night Test cricket is a more television-friendly format and perhaps the only way to save the five-day version of the game following the rise of the quickfire Twenty20 format.

But India, who are the world's top-ranked team, said they did not want to play their first day-night Test during such a high-profile series.

"Yes, it's pretty clear that we are not playing a day-night Test in Australia, no doubt about it," BCCI administrator Vinod Rai told AFP this month.

The Australians have played four day-night Tests since 2015, three of them in Adelaide, winning all of them.

India have not yet played a pink-ball Test and would be reluctant to give the hosts any advantage as they seek a first Test series win in Australia.

"I think everyone in world cricket knows that, to be frank, I think [India] want to come out here and beat us," Sutherland told Australia's SEN Radio in early May.


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But Rai, who heads a special committee appointed by India's Supreme Court to run the BCCI, said India would not be forced into playing a day-night Test.

"Nobody can put a gun on to our head and say play. There have been doubts about the pink ball itself in Duke and Kookaburra," Rai said, referring to the English and Australian ball manufacturers.

The powerful BCCI is one of the few national governing bodies to have avoided playing pink ball cricket at international level.

India experimented with pink ball cricket in its Duleep Trophy domestic championship in 2016 but administrators and top players are wary about playing at international level.

Sutherland said Australia would still play a day-night Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane in January.

"We are committed to hosting at least one day-night Test each home summer as part of our continued focus to grow Test cricket," he said.

Updated: May 8, 2018 09:15 AM



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