SYDNEY, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Cricket Australia wants to establish the tradition of hosting a day-night test every year, including during the Ashes series against England in 2017-18, chief executive James Sutherland said on Tuesday.
Australia hosted the first day-night test against New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval last November and the big crowds and TV ratings had contributed to what Sutherland said was “an unmitigated success”.
Following on from that, Sutherland said, Cricket Australia were “actively pursuing” at least one day-night test when they hosted South Africa and Pakistan at the end of this year.
“On the assumption that we do play a day-night test next summer or two, we will progress that further and it will be more of a fixture in our calendar,” he told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
“Needless to say the summer after that is an Ashes series and probably that just established tradition will continue.”
Sutherland said he had only spoken to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in “passing” about the concept, but expected no opposition from that quarter.
“It’s a long way off but I know that the chairman (Colin Graves) and chief executive of the ECB are very progressive in their thinking about the game,” he added.
“With CEO Tom Harrison’s background in the media he’ll certainly understand growing the popularity of the game is the first and foremost in our minds as cricket administrators.”
Sutherland suggested the ECB should not dismiss hosting day-night test matches just because the daylight hours were longer during the English summer.
“It’s up to every individual home country that hosts cricket to make their own decision about which is appropriate but whether the sun has gone down or not I think that’s largely irrelevant,” he said.
“The point is that the hours of the test match if they are shifted in such a way that they move into the afternoon and evening, what Adelaide showed us is that more people will turn up to watch the matches and more people will be watching on television.”
Sutherland also welcomed interest from Melbourne and Sydney in hosting day-night tests in addition to their traditional Boxing Day and New Year’s fixtures.
“I think anything is possible and I welcome the interest that everyone has in hosting test matches, it is a ringing endorsement of test cricket and day-night test cricket,” he added.
“All that needs to be balanced with a policy that we have of trying to share cricket content around the country and that’s all part of the balancing act that we will continue to do.
“There are always different variables that come into play and we’ve got plenty to deal with as we consider the programming for 2016-17.” (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)