Sydney - Cricket
Australia unveiled plans on Wednesday for day-night Tests against South
Africa and Pakistan, but admitted player concerns about the experimental
format meant the Proteas' fixture was not locked in.
The day-night Tests using a pink ball are a central part of
Australia's home international schedule for 2016/17, which also features
limited over matches against three nations.
Administrators regard the inaugural day-night Test against New
Zealand in Adelaide last season as an outstanding success, attracting
123 000 spectators and an average television audience of two million.
However, players from both sides complained about the pink ball's
movement and durability, as well as the difficulty batsmen faced seeing
it under lights.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said Pakistan had agreed to play a
day-night Test in Brisbane, but that South Africa's players had refused
to commit to a similar fixture in Adelaide.
"Understandably, there is some concern from the South African
players," Sutherland said, underlining CA's argument that innovation was
needed to reinvigorate Test cricket.
"Day-night Test cricket is all about the fans and a day-night match
in Adelaide will be a bigger Test match crowd than the South African
players will have ever experienced."
South African players association chief Tony Irish said this week
that the Proteas, unlike their Australian rivals, had no experience with
the pink ball and did not want to be disadvantaged in the Test series.
"The reluctance to play is a sign of how much importance the South
African players place on the series against Australia," he told The
South Africa, currently rated third in the world, will be aiming to
replace Australia as the top-ranked Test team in the series, with the
planned day-nighter in Adelaide looming as a potential decider.
The CA schedule also breaks with tradition by stripping Brisbane's
Gabba of its customary hosting rights to the first Test of the season.
Instead the first Test against South Africa will be held in Perth
from November 3-7, with Brisbane hosting the opening Test against
Pakistan from December 15-19.
Sutherland said holding a day-night Test in Brisbane during the
school holiday would draw big crowds, while opening the Test season
against the Proteas in Perth would attract the city's large South
In addition to three-Test series against South Africa and Pakistan,
the schedule also includes five one-dayers against Pakistan, three
against New Zealand and three Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka.
November 3-7: Australia v South Africa 1st Test in Perth
November 12-16: Australia v South Africa 2nd Test in Hobart
November 24-28: Australia v South Africa 3rd Test in Adelaide (proposed day-night)
December 4: Australia v New Zealand 1st ODI in Sydney
December 6: Australia v New Zealand 2nd ODI in Canberra
December 9: Australia v New Zealand 3rd ODI in Melbourne
December 15-19: Australia v Pakistan 1st Test in Brisbane (day-night)
December 26-30: Australia v Pakistan 2nd Test in Melbourne
January 3-7: Australia v Pakistan 3rd Test in Sydney
January 13: Australia v Pakistan 1st ODI in Brisbane
January 15: Australia v Pakistan 2nd ODI in Melbourne
January 19: Australia v Pakistan 3rd ODI in Perth
January 22: Australia v Pakistan 4th ODI in Sydney
January 26: Australia v Pakistan 5th ODI in Adelaide
February 17: Australia v Sri Lanka 1st T20 venue TBC
February 19: Australia v Sri Lanka 2st T20 venue TBC
February 22: Australia v Sri Lanka 3rd T20 venue TBC