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Sri Lanka and Pakistan could play the first-ever international day-night Test match
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have asked Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to consider allowing the national team to participate in a day-night Test match during their tour of the United Arab Emirates in December.
The series consists of three Test matches, two of which are scheduled to be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, both of which are capable of hosting a day-night Test.
Just last year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) approved the idea of day-night Tests, but announced that it would be up to the respective cricket boards to figure out what time play starts and ends and the colour of the ball to be used.
As of right now, no two nations have played a day-night Test, but the PCB still remain interested in hosting one.
“We have offered to play a Test match under lights,” Nadeem Sarwar, the PCB spokesman, told ESPNcricinfo. “We are keen to experiment with day-night Test cricket as we believe that this would help in reviving interest in the format. The major aspect in our discussion is the correspondence on the colour and brand of the ball. The venues are definitely ideal and there is no dew factor involved in December and January.”
Responding to Sarwar’s offer, SLC president Jayantha Dharmadasa stated that unless there were any major objections, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will square off against each other in the first-ever international day-night Test match.
“We shouldn’t say no if the only reason is that it doesn’t suit us,” Dharmadasa said. “In the past we’ve had 50-over cricket come into the game, then Twenty20s. In the future it will be day-night Tests. It would be a good thing for us to be part of the first day-night Test. People will be looking at it. I’ve still got to talk to the cricket committee, the selectors, and the cricketers, so we’ll see what comes out of those meetings.”
Sarwar also expects a higher attendance during day-night Tests as most people will have finished work by the time the match gets underway.
“Preliminary enquiries have revealed that there is an interest amongst sponsors and broadcasters in day-night Test cricket as it could add commercial momentum,” Sarwar added. “We also anticipate greater spectator interest compared to an all-day Test match. PCB has conducted trials of day-night, domestic first-class matches and, for us, this will be an exciting experiment, subject, of course, to agreement by Sri Lanka Cricket Board.”
Along with the three Test matches, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will also play a five-match ODI series and two Twenty20 Internationals.