Australia for day-night Tests

Sydney, December 13:

Cricket Australia (CA) says the sport could attract a four-fold increase in television ratings by introducing day-night Test matches within the next decade.

CA chief executive James Sutherland confirmed on Thursday reports that his organisation was preparing to defy 130 years of tradition by trialling day-night Tests. The Australian newspaper reported that CA officials were examining the concept of scheduling games from 2pm-9pm or 3pm-10pm rather than the traditional 11am-6pm.

Cricket officials claim the move would allow more people to watch at grounds and on television. Sutherland said CA wanted to trial a day-night Test, although he could not be more specific than saying at some stage over the next decade.

The news has met with widespread criticism from fans on talkback radio

and newspaper blogging sites. Australian captain Ricky Ponting is also no fan of the idea because of concerns over the visibility of the ball.

Ponting said batsmen would have problems seeing a white ball which often gets discoloured during 50-over innings in limited overs matches.

Ponting, a self-confessed traditionalist, said he and other world captains had often expressed concerns about day-night Tests because of the difficulties batting under lights.