Cricket Australia urges India to play day-night Test in Adelaide on next tour

Cricket Australia urges India to play day-night Test in Adelaide on next tour

Cricket Australia's hopes of attracting the big crowd in the series-opener of the blockbuster Border-Gavaskar series against India took a massive blow on day one itself.

day/night test match
Adelaide Oval (Photo by Daniel Kalisz – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

The opening day of the ongoing first Test at Adelaide witnessed a modest crowd of 23,802. Official figures reveal that the latest attendance is in stark contrast to the numbers recorded since the venue underwent redevelopment five years ago. Last year, the first day of the Adelaide Test of the Ashes witnessed a staggering 55,000 fans attending the game. Prior to that, the first day of the game against South Africa had seen 32,255 fans in the stadium while 47,441 attended the game against New Zealand in 2015.

Not surprisingly, the officials in Australia are alarmed by the latest numbers. And the Cricket Australia officials believe that the reason behind the modest turnout is India’s refusal to play day-night Test, a format which has gained immense popularity among the fans Down Under. The day-night Test has become a fixture in Australia ever since Australia hosted New Zealand for the first time in 2015.

Cricket Australia asks BCCI to reconsider its stance

Alarmed by the number of fans attending the Adelaide Test, Cricket Australia have urged their Indian counterpart BCCI to reconsider their opposition to day-night Tests and play the Adelaide Test under lights on the next tour.

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts made it clear that India’s refusal to not play the Test under the lights is the reason behind the low turnout. Citing the numbers of previous years, he said that Cricket Australia is hopeful of playing a day-nighter when Test cricket returns to Adelaide.

“Absolutely. It matters what the fans think and they’ve voted with their feet. Those numbers (in previous years) are incredible. No doubt we have lost that particular group of fans (who like day-night Tests) for this Test. We are looking forward to the day-night Test coming back to Adelaide,” Roberts told SEN Radio. Roberts said he hoped that the BCCI would agree to a day-night for the next tour here in 2020-21.

“Let’s hope so. We will take it one step at a time. We embrace that they (BCCI) have a different view of this Test match but we hope in time, with the sentiment from fans, we can have a day-night Test,” he said. “We hope that the sentiment from fans is something India can see.”

India, on their part, cannot be blamed entirely for rejecting the proposal to play with the pink ball. On such a tough tour, Virat Kohli & Co. could not have afforded to wade in unknown territory. India are yet to get a taste of the day-night Test while Australia have already played four. Consequently, the BCCI felt the home side would have had an unfair advantage if the Indians played with the pink ball.

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~Written by Bijoy