PCB planning day-night Tests
Karachi - Pakistan cricket authorities said Thursday they have proposed playing day-night Tests in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates in a bid to attract bigger crowds.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) last year approved the idea of day-night matches played under floodlights as a way to stem dwindling interest in Tests in many countries.
No country has yet tried the new format and the ICC has left it to individual boards to decide when and how to experiment.
"We have proposed the idea of playing day-night Tests with Sri Lanka in December-January in UAE and their reply is awaited," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesperson Nadeem Sarwar told AFP.
The PCB staged the five-day final of its premier first-class tournament, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, under lights in December 2011, an event appreciated by the ICC.
The challenge facing such Tests has been to find a ball that is clearly visible in both sunshine and floodlights, and Sarwar said a discussion on the colour of the balls to be used was under way with the Sri Lankan board.
"We have sent them a dozen cricket balls of pink and orange colour so that they can have further tests," said Sarwar. "Nothing has been finalised."
Pakistan has been forced to play its "home" internationals at neutral venues, mainly in the UAE, since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team during a Test in Lahore in 2009.
Pakistan host Sri Lanka for three Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20s in December and January in the UAE and Sarwar feels the conditions are right to experiment.
"The time and weather would be ideal as there will be no dew at that time and it will be feasible to play under lights," said Sarwar, who disagrees the idea would cost more to an already financially-hit PCB.
"Studies we have done reveal that day-night Tests will generate more public interest and in turn more gate money," said Sarwar.
"The sponsors are also interested as they get prime time viewing."
The UAE has a large expatriate Pakistani community but few show up to watch Test matches, in part because they are played during the day when most are at work.
The first Test starts in Dubai on December 31. The other two Tests are in Abu Dhabi (January 8-12) and Sharjah (January 16-20).