Wellington - Players and traditionalists
need to accept pink-ball Tests or the five-day format will not survive, New
Zealand Cricket chief executive David White warned on Thursday.
Australia and New Zealand played the
inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide last year, attracting huge crowds to rival
those at limited-overs versions of the game.
But players from both sides complained
about the pink ball, intended to be more visible under floodlights, and some
conservatives felt it undermined a Test tradition dating back to 1877.
White said there was strong enthusiasm for
more day-night Tests at a meeting of the International Cricket Council board in
Dubai last weekend.
He said there was also a groundswell of
support from fans and television broadcasters, expressing confidence that
players would eventually come around.
"I think the players will be very
supportive going forward, (day-night Test cricket) is essential for the
survival of the format, to be honest," he told Radio Sport.
White said day-nighters would never
dominate Test cricket but he could envisage a time when most series included a
match played under lights.
"It provides an opportunity for the
game to be more accessible to the fans and we've got to listen to them, they
drive the revenue, they drive the game," he said.
"We've got to uphold the traditions of
the game - I'm as traditional as anyone - but we've got to look to the future
Players raised concerns after the Adelaide
Test about the pink ball's movement and durability, as well as the difficulty
batsmen faced seeing it under lights.
South Africa's players have also refused to
commit to a day-night Test later this year in Adelaide, Cricket Australia chief
executive James Sutherland said last week.
Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said
"fine tuning" would solve the problems, insisting New Zealand's
players backed the concept of day-night Tests.
"I think it's inevitable that we'll
play a lot more day-night cricket over the coming years," he told
However, White said Indian officials had
"jumped the gun" in announcing last week that they would play a
pink-ball Test against New Zealand when the Black Caps tour later this year.
He said NZC wanted it to go ahead but it
would not be locked in until discussions around issues such as practice matches
He said administrators in India saw it as a
way to raise the profile of Test cricket.
"They realise that they have got an
issue with their crowds at Test match cricket," he said.
"While T20 and one-day cricket is
huge, they do struggle to get big crowds for Test matches."
Hesson denied administrators in Australia
and now India were using New Zealand as a "guinea pig" to trial the
effectiveness of day-night cricket before adopting it against big-name
He said it would be an honour to be
involved in the first pink-ball Test played in India, if the fixture goes
"To play in front of a full house in
India in a Test match would be pretty special," he said.