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Day-night Test cricket receives green light though pink ball may be needed

SYDNEY -- Day-night Test cricket, possibly played with a pink, orange or yellow ball, is an inevitability now the way has been cleared for such matches, Cricket Australia (CA) chief James Sutherland said on Tuesday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) decreed on Monday that countries could agree to play day-night Tests and Sutherland said CA would put them on the agenda when negotiating all future tours to Australia.

“Test cricket is by definition played on at least three week days, times when most people are at work or school, and this limits the ability of fans to attend or watch on TV,” he said in a news release.

“We limit ourselves by staging cricket's premium format at times when fans often cannot watch.

“We know that the audience for the Perth test, which is on TV in the evening on the east coast, is up significantly because fans in the East can tune in after work.”

Although he believes 50-over and Twenty20 cricket have proved that batting is possible under floodlights, Sutherland conceded finding a ball with the visibility for night play and the durability required for Tests was a stumbling block.

“Finding a Test ball that is as easily visible in the day as it is at night is still a technical work in progress that the ICC is now leading and it has not yet been possible to predict when such a ball might be available,” he added.

“Experiments with other colors such as pink, orange and yellow have seen some promising developments in recent times and Cricket Australia will ... continue to encourage research and development that delivers a ball with the optimal color and durability for Test cricket.”

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