Cricket Australia urges India to get behind day-night Tests

Australia has been successful in day-night matches in past and possesses a 100 per cent winning record.

Kevin Roberts replaced James Sutherland in October 2018 to become new CEO of Cricket Australia.   -  AFP

Australia's cricket chief executive officer (CEO) Kevin Roberts on Friday urged India to reconsider its opposition to day-night Tests, with crowd numbers hurt by its refusal to play under lights in Adelaide.

Cricket Australia had originally pencilled the ongoing opening Adelaide Test as a pink-ball match, but India baulked at the idea.

Indian, which is currently the world's top-ranked Test team, has not played a day-night Test till now and did not want to risk its first one during such a high-profile series.

In day-night Tests over the past three years, Adelaide's opening-day crowds numbered around 47,000, 32,000 and 55,000.

But on Thursday, only 24,000 passed through the turnstiles, for which Kevin Roberts blamed fewer interstate visitors who would have come for the night-time spectacle.

“We think we would've had 15,000 or so interstate visitors if it was a day-night Test so there's no doubting we've lost that group of fans,” he told SEN radio.

Asked if the poor crowd had convinced him that the Adelaide Test should be day-night, Roberts replied: “Absolutely”.

“It matters what the fans think and they've voted with their feet. Those numbers (in previous years) are incredible so we're really excited about getting back to that in the future.”

Roberts said he will hope to convince India of the merits of a day-night Adelaide Test on its next tour of Australia in 2020-21.

“Let's hope so. Part of that fabric of cricket both nationally and internationally is so rich, so we embrace the fact that they've had a different view about this Test match,” he said.

“We hope that the sentiment from fans is something India can see.”

According to Roberts, India is the only national team still holding out on day-night Tests, which CA believes is one of the key ways to retain interest in the five-day version of the game following the rise of the quickfire Twenty20 format.

Australia has played four day-night Tests since 2015, three of them in Adelaide, winning all of them. It played Sri Lanka under lights in Brisbane in January.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :