SYDNEY: Australia’s cricket stars will have the chance to play two domestic games with a pink ball to prepare for day-night Tests this summer against South Africa and Pakistan.
Cricket Australia on Tuesday released its domestic fixture list, with the Sheffield Shield structured to help players get ready for using a ball many have complained is hard to see under lights.
The first round of the tournament on October 25 will feature day-night games in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne, while the fifth round from December 5 will see the same format in Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. Day-night Tests using a pink ball are a central part of Australia’s home international schedule for 2016-17.
The third and final Test against South Africa will be played under lights at Adelaide in November while the first of three Tests against Pakistan will get the same treatment in Brisbane in December.
“The way the schedule has been structured reinforces the significant role our domestic competitions play in helping players prepare for cricket at the international level,” said CA team performance chief Pat Howard.
Australian administrators regard the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last season as an outstanding success, attracting 123,000 spectators and an average television audience of two million.
But players from both sides complained about the pink ball’s movement and durability, as well as the difficulty batsmen faced seeing it under lights.