Kiwis keen to host SA in pink ball, day-night Test ‘extravaganza’

  • Reuters, Reuters
  • Updated: Jan 02, 2016 15:04 IST
Although Brendon McCullum’s men lost the Adelaide day-night Test (R), the overwhelming response of spectators has encouraged New Zealand cricket to make their first match a big “extravaganza”. (AFP Photo)

New Zealand are keen to build on the momentum of the inaugural day-night Test with their own ‘pink ball’ match, possibly against the touring South Africans, next season.

Some 120,000 fans flocked through the gates of the Adelaide Oval over three days of play to watch Brendon McCullum’s side lose to Australia in the first day-night Test in November. On the back of such undeniable public support for the concept, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said the idea of hosting a pink ball Test had already been discussed.

“I think it’s a distinct possibility,” White told Newstalk ZB on Saturday.

“Obviously, South Africa would have to be keen as well but I think that it’s very much a possibility.”

NZC were already considering a full round of day-night first class matches next month to test the concept, which would give them an indication of whether the conditions would be suitable during South Africa’s tour in February 2017.

“The big difference between New Zealand and Australia is that it will be a big challenge to do it before Christmas because of our weather,” White said.

“But I think post-Christmas when it’s a lot warmer at night, I think will be more attractive.”

NZC also initially suggested they would trial the concept in a Test against Bangladesh but after witnessing the interest in the Adelaide game, decided to make it more of an extravaganza, White said.

“As a first off game it was just outstanding,” he added.

“Huge crowd and a great spectacle (so) I think if we’re going to do it, the first one should be a very big game.

“Provided we get the conditions right and make it a huge, big extravaganza.”

Hamilton’s Seddon Park, which hosted a warm-up fixture under lights with the pink ball for the New Zealand side before they went to Australia looms as a likely venue for the match.

Seddon Park groundsman Karl Johnson travelled to Adelaide to discuss preparations and to monitor how the wicket and ball performed in the twilight conditions.

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