x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pakistan and Sri Lanka could play day-night cricket Test in UAE

Boards of both countries open to the idea of playing at least one five-day match under lights in January, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai in contention.

The Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi has served as a venue for day-night 'experimental Tests' between clubs. Andrew Henderson / The National
The Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi has served as a venue for day-night 'experimental Tests' between clubs. Andrew Henderson / The National

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are both open to playing at least one of their three Tests, in the UAE next January, under floodlights.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka will lock horns in two Twenty20 and five one-day internationals, all day-night games in December, before switching to their Test whites.

But if the administrators can convince the players as well as the Emirates Cricket Board, then one of the matches – most likely the first Test in Dubai or the second one in Abu Dhabi – could be played during the second half of the day, according to ESPNcricinfo.

All limited-overs matches will start at 3pm (UAE time).

"We have offered to play a Test match under lights," Nadeem Sarwar, the PCB spokesman, told ESPNcricinfo.

"We are keen to experiment with day-night Test cricket as we believe that this would help in reviving interest in the format. The major aspect in our discussion is the correspondence on the colour and brand of the ball. The venues are definitely ideal and there is no dew factor involved in December and January."

Jayantha Dharmadasa, the SLC president is reportedly open to the idea.

"We shouldn't say no if the only reason is that it doesn't suit us," Dharmadasa said in quotes that appeared on ESPNcricinfo. "In the past we've had 50-over cricket come into the game, then Twenty20s. In the future it will be day-night Tests.

"It would be a good thing for us to be part of the first day-night Test. People will be looking at it. I've still got to talk to the cricket committee, the selectors, and the cricketers, so we'll see what comes out of those meetings."

The International Cricket Council, cricket's governing body, has approved of the idea of playing Tests under lights but has left it the national boards to decide on the hours of play and colour of the ball.

If Abu Dhabi does host the proposed day-night Test, it will not be the first time Zayed Cricket Stadium will see the long-form game being played at night. The UK-based Marylebourne Cricket Club has played a few matches in the recent past with pink balls being used instead of the traditional red.

Pakistan v Sri Lanka tour itinerary

Dec 7 Sri Lanka arrive in Dubai

Dec 8 Pakistan v Afghanistan, one-off T20 (to be confirmed)

Dec 11 Pakistan v Sri Lanka, first T20, Dubai

Dec 13 Second T20, Dubai

Dec 18 First ODI, Sharjah

Dec 20 Second ODI, Dubai

Dec 22 Third ODI, Sharjah

Dec 25 Fourth ODI, Abu Dhabi

Dec 27 Fifth ODI, Abu Dhabi

Dec 31-Jan 4 First Test, Dubai

Jan 8-12 Second Test, Abu Dhabi

Jan 16-20 Third Test, Sharjah

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