‘Day/night Tests way to go’

ICC chief David Morgan expects day/night Tests to be played within the next two years.

On the same day when the Centurion crowd was bigger for the opening day of the first Test between South Africa and England compared to the T20 international last month, Morgan said in an effort to counter smaller attendances, day/night Tests were the way to go.

This would make conditions vastly different for the side batting at night, but trials with pink balls have already been conducted by the ICC.

‘The ICC has recognised that in some countries Test cricket is not that popular in terms of people paying at the gate,’ Morgan told reporters at a meeting of the Indian Journalists’ Association. We want to ensure Test cricket is as popular around the world as it is in England.

‘All 10 full board members at the ICC are switched on to improving Test cricket and its attendances. If you look at a country like Australia with big stadia and very hot conditions, it’s made for day-night Test cricket.’

Morgan said Test cricket had to move with the times.

‘I wouldn’t have been overly-enthusiastic about this 18 months ago, thinking of tradition and records,’ said Morgan.

“But Test cricket has changed over 130 years. I’d be surprised if we don’t see day-night Test cricket within the next two years – surprised and disappointed.’

Morgan maintained that the five-day format is still the ultimate.

‘At the ICC we regard Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game – it’s the form cricketers seek to play,’ he said. ‘The biggest events are the Ashes and India against Pakistan. They are the big earners and revenues in Test cricket are bigger.

‘England against South Africa and South Africa against Australia are not far behind.’