Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said on Tuesday he will talk to his England counterparts about the prospect of scheduling a day-night Ashes Test in Australia in the 2017-18 series.
Sutherland said he has mentioned the possibility “in passing” with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) about playing a day-night Test in the next Ashes series.
Sutherland said he has already spoken to South Africa and Pakistan authorities about playing a day-night Test in Australia next summer following the success of the concept in Adelaide in November last year.
The historic Adelaide match against New Zealand attracted a total attendance of 123,736 fans over three lively days. The opening day gate of 47,441 was the biggest at the Adelaide Test since the famous 1932-33 ‘bodyline’ series.
Sutherland said it would be logical that the continuing success of further day-night Tests in the next Australian summer would make it an attractive proposition to schedule a day-night Test in the Ashes series in the following season.
“We will be actively pursuing at least one day-night Test this year with our two visiting teams, South Africa and Pakistan,” Sutherland told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“And I guess on the assumption that we do play a day-night Test next summer or two that we will progress that further and it will be more of a fixture in our calendar.
“Needless to say the summer after that is an Ashes series and probably that just established tradition will continue.”
Sutherland said England administrators were progressive thinkers and would be interested in the day-night Test concept.
“Only (spoken to them) in passing, nothing official and to be honest it’s a long way off, but I know that the chairman (Giles Clarke) and chief executive (Tom Harrison) of the ECB are very progressive in their thinking about the game,” he said.
“With CEO Tom Harrison’s background in the media he’ll certainly understand growing the popularity of the game is first and foremost in our minds as cricket administrators.”
Sutherland said the Adelaide Test had shown the cricket public’s curiosity and acceptance of day-night Test cricket.
“The point is that the hours of the Test match, if they are shifted in such a way that they move into the afternoon and evening, what Adelaide showed us is that more people will turn up to watch the matches and more people will be watching on television,” he said.
“That’s what we want Test cricket to be — more accessible to the public than it is now and Adelaide was proof of that concept and we’re going to see lots more day-night Test cricket in future.”
Sutherland said there will be further meetings with Pakistan and South Africa representatives later this month over the staging of day-night Tests next season.