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Australia, NZ target day-night test in 2015

MELBOURNE: Australia and New Zealand have targeted playing a first test match under lights in November, 2015, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Monday.

CA, who have been discussing playing tests under lights for at least five years, scheduled a number of first-class matches in the domestic Sheffield Shield at night using pink balls and black sightscreens earlier this year and hopes to have the concept perfected in time for New Zealand’s tour next year.

The venue is yet to be fixed for the day-night test.

CA chief executive James Sutherland, however, added the traditional Boxing Day test in Melbourne and Sydney’s New Year’s test would not be touched and both still played during the day.

“The summer holiday period in Australia really lends itself to test cricket, but at other times of the year it can be difficult for fans to attend or watch test matches, be it here or in other parts of the world,” Sutherland said in a statement.

“That’s really at the heart of the issue. The challenge is to try to make test cricket more accessible for fans.”

Day-night tests offer the chance of more broadcast dollars derived from bigger television audiences at home and abroad.

Sutherland met with his New Zealand counterpart David White in Melbourne during the annual ICC conference.

“We’re scheduling a trial fixture in the upcoming season so we can examine more closely issues such as dew, and its affect on the condition of the ball,” White said.

“Ensuring the ball behaves as closely as possible to the red ball is vital for the success of this initiative.” (Reuters)

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