With no clarity yet on whether the Adelaide Test between Australia and India will be a day-night game, as proposed by the hosts, or a day-only affair, as it is speculated India want, James Sutherland has suggested that such decisions be left to the home board going forward.
India are scheduled to play four Tests during their tour, which starts in November 2018 and goes on till January 2019. The first of these has been pencilled in for Adelaide from December 6.
For the past three years, Test matches at Adelaide Oval have been day-nighters, with New Zealand (2015), South Africa (2016) and England (2017) agreeing to play under lights. Pakistan also played a day-night Test in Brisbane in December 2016.
As things stand, a day-night Test – still a new concept and not tried out everywhere in the world, with India still among the teams yet to play one – can only be arranged with the visiting side’s approval, but Sutherland, the Cricket Australia Chief Executive, wants that changed.
“I think, personally, the home country should have the right to schedule matches as it sees fit and start them at whatever time of day they want,” Sutherland told SEN on Tuesday, May 1.
“The Adelaide Test match in the day-night format has been a huge success. It’s been a great story in terms of attendances, crowds and atmosphere but also television audiences. It’s also the way of the future. India may or may not come around to that idea for this tour but I still believe it’s the way of the future. I think everyone in world cricket knows that.”
With the ICC World Test Championship starting next year, Sutherland hopes the regulations are changed.
“It hasn’t really got to a stage where there’s agreement or regulation around the table at ICC level for the home countries to be able to schedule that,” added Sutherland. “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.”
Along with the fact that India have never played a pink-ball, day-night Test, it’s also important to note that Australia have won each of the contests they have hosted to date.
Sutherland alluded to that when he said, “To be frank, I think they want to come out here and beat us. There’s a sense, or a reality, that Australia has won each of the pink-ball Test matches that have been played in Australia and there may be a sense that it gives us a bit of an advantage.”
The remaining Tests will be played as day games in Perth (December 14-18), Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7). The Tests will be preceded by a three-match Twenty20 International series, with a three-match one-day international series coming at the end.