Fans give day-night Test thumbs up

2015-12-01 08:29
Lights illuminate the Adelaide Oval (AP)

Cape Town - Cricket fans who attended the historic Australia-New Zealand Test in Adelaide have overwhelmingly endorsed day-night Test cricket.

A survey taken at the ground during the first two days of the highly anticipated match has shown most fans now prefer their traditional cricket under lights.

The positive response by fans was reflected by record crowds and television ratings, with the national TV audience for the third day peaking at 3.19 million viewers, making it the highest rating day in Nine’s 2015-16 Summer of Cricket.

The national television average of 2.34 million viewers that took in the final session of the match made for the most watched non-Ashes Test session since rating records began.

The total match attendance of 123 736 people over three days, made it the highest non-Ashes attendance in the Adelaide Oval’s history, beating the mark of 113 009 set in last year’s Test against India. The attendance figure was higher than the sum of the previous 10 days of Test cricket between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide.

Eighty five percent of the people surveyed at the ground supported day-night Test cricket as a good idea.

And almost as many (81 percent) claimed that all Adelaide Tests should now be played under lights.

Two thirds claimed they were now more likely to attend a day-night Test than a match played during the day.

Playing under lights proved an attraction for a new audience, with almost half those spoken to saying they attended at least in part because of the novelty value.

The pink ball also received strong approval despite some concerns leading into the match that it may be difficult to see.

Two thirds of those surveyed found the pink ball easier to pick up than the traditional red ball while another 25 percent said there was no difference.

Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said the survey reinforced the strong acceptance of day-night Test cricket by the many thousands of fans who attended the match or tuned in on television and radio.

“At Cricket Australia we are about putting fans first so we are delighted that so many have embraced the day-night Test concept,” Sutherland said via a Cricket Australia press release.

“We are constantly striving to give cricket fans what they want and as such, with the endorsement of visiting countries, we will seek to schedule more day-night Tests.

“The experience in Adelaide last weekend demonstrates the huge potential the day-night format has in revitalising Test cricket all over the world. I would strongly encourage other Test playing countries to enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to host their own day-night Test matches.

“We believe that having the ability to move matches into the evening provides cricket fans with greater access to the game and there is no doubt that this will help grow interest in Test cricket.”


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