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Doubts over day-night test

The reticence of South Africa’s players to participate in a day-night test has resulted in Cricket Australia unable to confirm whether a pink-ball match would go ahead against the Proteas.

Australia hosted the first day-night test against New Zealand late last year, with plans to play a second twilight match against South Africa at Adelaide Oval during their three test series in November.

Cricket Australia, however unveiled their itinerary for their international programme on Wednesday with the third test at Adelaide from Nov. 24-28 only pencilled in as a potential day night test.

Australian media had reported the South African players had concerns about using the pink ball in twilight conditions.

Both the Australian and New Zealand teams said they had not being able to see the ball properly during the twilight, while it also moved around appreciably.

The test, however, was considered a commercial success with fans flooding into Adelaide Oval.

“We are working with Cricket South Africa with a view to ensuring that the Adelaide test is a day-night test,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.

“There is some concern from the South African players, but…the success of Adelaide last year demonstrates the huge potential the day-night format has in revitalising test cricket all over the world, and it’s for that reason that it is our desire to stage another test under lights at that venue.”

Sutherland said more than 123,000 people had attended the three days of the inaugural day-night test, with an average of two million watching on television. 

Brisbane’s Gabba ground, however, would host its first day-night test against Pakistan from Dec. 15-19, Sutherland added as Cricket Australia battles with poor crowd turnouts at the Queensland venue, which has traditionally held the first match of Australia’s international programme.

Perth will instead host the first test between South Africa and Australia from Nov. 3-7.

“Given the significance of the Brisbane test to Australian cricket, we have looked at ways to draw larger attendances for that match, aiming to attract crowds,” Sutherland added.

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