Cricket Australia CEO hopes to include day-night Test against India in itinerary

It will be easier to convince India to play a day-night Test if it is certain to make the World Test Championship final, says Kevin Roberts.

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts feels it will be easier to convince India to play a pink-ball match in Australia next year if it is certain to reach the World Test Championship final.

India had refused to play a pink-ball Test during its last tour of Australia. Last month, it hosted its first day-night Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata with Sourav Ganguly taking the initiative after becoming the BCCI president.

“I absolutely believe we should be playing one pink-ball Test in the Indian series next year,” Roberts was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

‘Less reason not to play’

“India to their credit are doing very well in this World Test Championship, and it’s highly likely that they will make the final in 2021. I suspect that will make it easier to schedule a day-night Test next season if India have relative certainty of making the [World Test Championship] final, then there is less reason not to play a day-night Test and more reason to play one.”

Read | Pakistan invites Bangladesh to play pink-ball Test at Karachi

The inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship, which culminates with a final in England in 2021, features nine Test playing nations, with each playing a home and away bilateral series. Each team will be able to score a maximum of 120 points from each series and the two teams with the most points at the end of the league stage will contest the final.

‘Proactive’ Ganguly

India is currently at the top the points table with seven wins from seven Tests and is likely to seal its final spot. The idea of hosting a day-night Test in India was the brainchild of Ganguly and Roberts said the match showed that the country was opening up towards the concept.

“Also with Sourav Ganguly coming into the presidency of the BCCI, he’s been very proactive in scheduling the first day-night Test in India, and we saw that was a sellout in three days, which is very different to what the previous day series have looked at in terms of ticket sales,” he said.

India hosted its first day-night Test in Kolkata in November, 2019. Photo: K. R. Deepak

 

“There is an openness from India and an understanding that it is good for cricket.”

India and Gabba

India had started its tour of Australia at Adelaide in the previous series, while the host always wants to play the first Test of a major series at the Gabba, where it hasn’t lost since 1988. Roberts said getting India to Gabba shouldn’t be a problem. “I don’t see India being opposed to that, there is a lot to work [to be done] though. But I don’t see India being opposed to any venue.”

Read | Top five batsmen, bowlers in pink ball cricket so far

Australia is keen to host two pink-ball Tests against India, an idea which was shot down by Ganguly who said it was a “bit too much.”

Indian captain Virat Kohli, however, had said that he was “open to do anything” as long as there was a practice match under lights.