Day-night Test: BCCI keeps CA on hold

It’s understood that CA Chairman David Peever wanted to know the BCCI’s position before the recent ICC meeting in Dubai.

Australia has won four day-night Tests; three of those in Adelaide - against New Zealand (December 2015), South Africa (November 2016), England (December 2017) and against Pakistan in Brisbane (December 2016).   -  AFP

India is scheduled to play a four-Test series in Australia in December - January 2018-19 and the million dollar question is whether the BCCI will give its consent to play a day-night Test.

Sources revealed to Sportstar that Cricket Australia (CA) has already been in communication with the Indian board to find out its readiness to play a day/night Test. The sale of tickets begin in advance in Australia and England and it’s natural that CA is keen to know what the BCCI decides.

It’s understood that CA Chairman David Peever wanted to know the BCCI’s position before the recent ICC meeting in Dubai.

There are a handful of officials who are privy to the BCCI viewpoint on this subject and at least one of them confirmed on Tuesday that a decision is unlikely to be taken anytime soon.

The BCCI has to take the view of the Indian team management, especially captain Virat Kohli. It is also likely to take into confidence the opinion of the Chairman of the national selection committee, M.S.K. Prasad.

Australia has won four day-night Tests; three of those in Adelaide - against New Zealand (December 2015), South Africa (November 2016), England (December 2017) and against Pakistan in Brisbane (December 2016).

However, Australia played three Tests against the West Indies in 2015-16 in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney; none of which was a day-night match though.

Day-night Test matches have been played in Dubai (Pakistan/West Indies, October 2016 and Pakistan/Sri Lanka, October 2017), in Edgbaston (England /West Indies, August 2017), in Port Elizabeth (South Africa/Zimbabwe, December 2017).

Test under lights the future

New Zealand is scheduled to play a day-night Test against England in Auckland in March and the West Indies is set to play one under the lights against Sri Lanka in Bridgetown in June.

Cricket Australia is actually prepared to play three day-night Tests (against India in Adelaide in December 2018, against Sri Lanka in Brisbane in January 2019 and at Manuka Oval, Canberra in Jan-Feb 2019).

Meanwhile, the BCCI has been witness to dwindling support for Test cricket in India and a senior official said: "Cricket has evolved over a period of time; time could not resist one-day cricket and time could not resist Twenty20. The BCCI had to take women’s cricket under  its umbrella. People have seen 3000 spectators at a recent Test match at the Eden Gardens. I think the future of Test cricket is in day/night matches.’’

The Indian Team management will have the last word on the day-night Test against Australia. There is a possibility of one of the two home Tests against the West Indies (in October 2018) being played as a day-night Test.

"Why not play a day-night Test at home first and get accustomed to it,’’ said a BCCI official.