Wednesday, 8 June 2016

South Africa agree to play day-night Test in Australia Finaly


After a long deliberation, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have agreed to play a day-night Test in Australia. The third Test between the two teams on November 24, 2016 in Adelaide will be played with the pink ball, under lights. The decision has been taken after it was agreed that South Africa will get to play two warm-up games under similar conditions.

Earlier, many South African players were not too thrilled with the prospect of playing a Test match under lights citing that they hadn't had enough time to prepare for the same. There has been only one Test played with the pink ball so far - between Australia and New Zealand - and it was seen that the challenges posed by the pink ball under lights was quite different from the traditional ones posed by the red ball.

However, with the decision being made to give the South African team not one but two chances to warm-up to the conditions, all the parties involved seem to have reached a happy conclusion.

"We were never against this exciting concept, but only wanted to give ourselves the best opportunity of competing in conditions that will be new and foreign to us. Two warm-up matches will hopefully give us an idea of what to expect and hopefully our preparations will help us to adapt accordingly.

"This will be the first time that our players in the Test squad will play pink ball Test match cricket in front of such a large crowd and to be part of this novel concept will no doubt be a landmark moment in all of our careers," said AB de Villiers, South Africa's Test captain.

"Our Proteas were initially hesitant to play such a key Test match without previous experience and adequate preparation but after working through all their concerns and the possible options to prepare sufficiently, there is new-found excitement for this novel Test match. Our players deserve credit for the way they have worked through their concerns which were clearly not insignificant," said Haroon Lorgat, CSA Chief Executive.

In addition to the two warm-up games prior to the series, a few players who could potentially feature in the national team will get another chance to acclimatise as the first four-day fixture between South Africa A and Australia A starting July 30 will also be played with the pink ball.

South Africa's acceptance has also proved to be a cause of joy for Cricket Australia (CA), which has been in the forefront of pioneering the move to play more Tests under lights. The move is seen as one taken to keep public interest in Test cricket alive amidst the growing popularity of the shortest format of the game.

"Nearly 124 000 people attended the inaugural day-night Test match in Adelaide last year and there has been great anticipation about future day-night Tests since. It's wonderful that the next one in Australia will be against South Africa. This announcement will further fuel the excitement about what promises to be a fascinating series between formidable rivals," said James Sutherland, Chief Executive of CA.

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