First day-night Test scheduled for 2015

Australian players celebrate after winning the game during day 5 of the third test match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Park Newlands on March 5, 2014
© Getty Images
Australia and New Zealand announce plans to contest the first day-night Test match in 2015 as cricket looks to address dropping crowds in the five-day format.

Australia and New Zealand have revealed plans to contest the first day-night Test match in 2015.

The ICC has given its backing to the idea as cricket tries to address dropping crowds in the longest format.

The Aussies will host the occasion, but not in Melbourne or Sydney for their traditional Tests over Christmas.

"The challenge is to try to make Test cricket more accessible for fans," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland told reporters. "We are serious about pushing ahead with the concept of day-night Test cricket. We feel it will only strengthen the position and possibilities for Test cricket in many parts of the world.

"There are many Test matches played during non-holiday periods when adults are at work and kids are at school. That's not an ideal way to promote the highest form of the game.

"We're not talking about playing the Boxing Day Test or New Year's Test at night. The summer holiday period in Australia really lends itself to Tests, but at other times of the year it can be difficult for fans to attend or watch Test matches."

The move could lead to the introduction of a pink ball to be used under lights, but Sutherland stressed that "ensuring the ball behaves as closely as possible to the red ball is vital for the success of this initiative".

Alistair Cook
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