Ahead of hosting the ICC Test Championship beginning in 2019, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland believes that the hosting nation must get more freedom in scheduling Day-Night Tests. A few nations have been reluctant in playing in Australia, with the pink ball. India is one of the latest in this long list who have expressed their disinterest in Day-night tests, preferring to stick to the traditional red-ball test at the Adelaide Oval when they visit in December this year.
However, Sutherland thinks otherwise. He said, “I think personally the home country should have the right to schedule matches as it sees fit and start them at whatever time of day they want,” while talking to the SEN Radio on Tuesday.
He added, “The Adelaide Test match in the day-night format has been a huge success. It’s been a great story in terms of attendances, crowds and atmosphere but also television audiences. It’s also the way of the future.” Australia have played Day-Night tests at the Adelaide Oval before and defeated all their opponents, including New Zealand, England and South Africa. Sutherland believes that India is hesitating to play with the pink ball because they are apprehensive about the dominant Australian performance in this new format.
He went on to say, “India may or may not come around to that idea for this tour but I still believe it’s the way of the future. I think everyone in world cricket knows that. To be frank, I think they want to come out here and beat us. There’s a sense, or a reality, that Australia has won each of the pink-ball Test matches that have played in Australia and there may be a sense that it gives us a bit of an advantage.”
India will be touring Australia between November 21 and January 19. They will be playing 4 tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20s during the tour. The International Cricket Council (ICC) hasn’t given any mandate regarding the scheduling of bilateral series and the kind of games that the teams will be playing. However, Sutherland believes that the board should come up with a regulation that could help the Day-Night tests concept grow. Note that previously only Day-Night ODI matches were organized.
Sutherland said, “It hasn’t really got to a stage where there’s agreement or regulation around the table at ICC level for the home countries to be able to schedule that. We’re hoping there will be some sort of regulation in there (the Test Championship) that will allow home teams to fixture at least one day-night Test match.”
After the India tour, the Test championship will begin in Australia in July 2019. Nine teams will be playing for the title of the world test champions while the Ashes will also be organized in England. The entire tournament will take 2 years to complete, ending in June 2021, crowning the first ever test champions in the world. With Sutherland speaking so candidly about India’s displeasure of the pink ball test, a repercussion is likely. It will be interesting to note why the Indian board isn’t keen on the new concept.