The Adelaide Test only became a day-night Test match in 2014 but the occasion has quickly carved its way into the national psyche, becoming a significant milestone on the calendar both in South Australia and around the rest of the country.
Unfortunately, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), famous for their original stubborn refusal to accept DRS and video technology, has dug its heels in and seen the temporary end of a growing movement.
The day-night Test has been a successful spectacle for Cricket Australia during its short lifetime, but with the Indian officials refusing to accept the fixture as part of the schedule for India’s tour of Australia during the next Aussie summer.
Hope dashed late
Cricket Australia and chief executive James Sutherland had held out hope that the day-night Test would be locked in during negotiations with the Indian board, but the BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabha Chowdhury wrote to Sutherland this week to confirm the news.
The moves comes after the BCCI made a determination that their side would benefit from more time before submitting to a pink ball Test and all the natural variations and differences inherent in the differing ball.
“I am directed to say by the Committee of Administrators that India would begin to play in the format only in about a year’s time,” Choudhury wrote to Cricket Australia.
“Under the circumstances, I regret to say the proposed day-night Test cannot be played and all Tests will have to have the conventional structure.”
With Cricket Australia’s commitment to a day-night Test being held at home every summer, the Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane in January will fit the day-night format.
Australia have long championed the day-night Test concept and at a time when it is proving profitable and other nations are slowly joining the party, the BCCI have put the clamps on.
The news will come as a frustration for both Cricket Australia and the match-going public in Adelaide given the size and spirit of the event over the last three to four years. The Test match at the Adelaide Oval has become part of the social calendar in South Australia and attracted strong crowds as well as solid television viewing figures around the country.
The decision by the BCCI will also be felt at Cricket Australia’s new broadcast partners. Fox Sports and Channel Seven had combined to takeover domestic and foreign coverage of cricket in a move which ended a 40+ year association between Cricket Australia (formerly the Australian Cricket Board) and Channel Nine.
Nine was heavily involved in the World Series Cricket saga at the behest of then boss Kerry Packer and is widely credited with playing a major role in shaping coverage of the game as it is known today.
Fox Sports and Seven would have been hoping the ratings bump associated with day-night Test cricket would assist in a smooth transition to the joint broadcasters.
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