Australia will host New Zealand in cricket’s first day-night Test match at the Adelaide Oval from November 27 to December 1.
The game concludes a three-match series for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy and will be the first in cricket’s longest format to take place partially under floodlights, with pink balls supplied by equipment manufacturer Kookaburra replacing the traditional red balls.
Playing times have not been confirmed at this stage, but each day is expected to start at around 2.30pm and run until 9.30pm Adelaide time. Intervals in between playing sessions will be switched around, with the longer 40 minute ‘lunch’ break re-named as ‘dinner’ and taking place between the second and third sessions. Tea will be taken between sessions one and two and remain at 20 minutes.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland is a long-time supporter of the day-night Test concept and anticipates an increase in both spectators at the ground and television viewers.
"One of the global challenges with Test cricket is that most of the matches outside holiday periods are played on week days, in the middle of the day when people are at work and kids are at school," Sutherland said. "By shifting the playing times each day's play can go into the evening and allow people to come in after work or after school to attend the last few hours of play, but also when they get home in other parts of the world or other parts of the country, they can watch the game on TV.
"The Perth Test match is a great illustration of that. It's fanatically watched on the eastern seaboard of Australia every year because of the time difference. Our television ratings are something like 40 per cent more for the whole country.”
Australia’s domestic first-class competition the Sheffield Shield has trialled pink-ball day-night matches and is set to do so again before the Adelaide showpiece, while New Zealand is expected to play a pair of similar warm-up matches on their tour of Australia.
New Zealand Players Association chief executive Heath Mills said that the country’s players remain apprehensive over aspects of day-night Tests, such as the behaviour and visibility of the pink ball, but he said they were willing to put such reservations aside for the potential wider benefits associated with their first Test series against near neighbours Australia since 2011.
“It's fair to say our players are nervous about the day-night Test,” Mills said. “It's uncharted territory and because of that there will be uncertainty and apprehension. However, whilst the players have reservations about the concept, they can see the bigger picture in the new agreement, and the greater good it brings to all levels of the game.”