TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
DON’T set your alarm clocks just yet – SA may play a day/night test in Australia in November after all.
And that despite the strong opposition to the idea voiced by SA’s players in April, which was supported by Cricket SA (CSA).
A Cricket Australia (CA) release on Tuesday said tickets for the summer had gone on sale. Except, that is, for the third test against SA in Adelaide because “discussions with CSA about the prospect of the match being played as a day/night test are ongoing”.
CA were “optimistic” they would convince the South Africans to keep the lights on and were “working to confirm details for this match in the coming weeks”.
A CSA board source said the matter was “an on-the-field issue, so we’ve left it to (CSA chief executive) Haroon (Lorgat) and the players to sort out”.
Tony Irish, the chief executive of the SA Cricketers’ Association, said a decision would be taken “in the next week or so”.
The SA players’ objection centered on the comparatively rapid deterioration of the pink ball used during the inaugural day/night test between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide last November, which was decided inside three days – perhaps because more grass had been left on the pitch to keep the ball newer for longer.
Also, the ball was difficult to see during twilight hours.
SA supporters wouldn’t want their team to be disadvantaged by those factors. But, on another score, they won’t complain.
A day/night Adelaide test would see the first ball bowled at 5.30am (SA time), rather than the regular 2am start.