November 27, 2015, is all set to be a historic day in the history of cricket. Two arch-rivals, Australia and New Zealand, are set to face each other in a 3-match Test series in November-December this year. What will be epic about the third match to be contested at the Adelaide Oval is that it will be the first ever day-night Test in the history of cricket.
The pink colour Kookaburra cricket ball will replace the red one for the Adelaide Test. The start time is not confirmed yet but, in all likeliness, play will commence at 2.30 pm Adelaide time and go on till 9.30 pm.
The 40-minute ‘lunch’ interval will be held between the second and third sessions of the day and would be known as ‘dinner’. The 20-minute break for tea will keep the same name but will be held between the first and second session.
The Test match, according to ESPN cricinfo , will be a victory of sorts for the Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland, who has championed the concept for more than seven years.
“One of the global challenges with Test cricket is that most of the matches outside holiday periods are played on week days, in the middle of the day when people are at work and kids are at school,” Sutherland said.
“By shifting the playing times each day’s play can go into the evening and allow people to come in after work or after school to attend the last few hours of play, but also when they get home in other parts of the world or other parts of the country, they can watch the game on TV,” he added.
While most people agree that the concept is great in theory, there is far less certainty about details such as the pink ball and its behaviour, and the adjustment from day to night.
It will surely be a different ball game for the players. Under lights, they don’t have to be aggressive (like in One Day matches) but just need to keep control on their skills.
New Zealand’s players have voiced their concerns about the concept, and their players’ association chief Heath Mills said an agreement had ultimately been reached because Brendon McCullum’s team could see the ‘bigger picture’ benefits of regular cricket against Australia.
“It’s fair to say our players are nervous about the day-night Test. It’s uncharted territory and because of that there will be uncertainty and apprehension,” Mills said.
Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann has been a vocal supporter of the concept. “I am looking forward to it to see what it brings, looking forward to seeing how both teams perform under lights, looking forward to seeing a massive crowd,” Lehmann said.
“I think it’s going to be exceptional to see everyone turning up for the first one ever in Test match cricket, I’m excited, and I know the players are excited and looking forward to the challenge,” he added.