The traditional red ball is not regarded as suitable for playing at night

SYDNEY: Cricket Australia Tuesday said it wanted to start playing day-night Tests as soon as possible after the International Cricket Council gave its seal of approval to the concept.

The ICC late Monday announced that Tests can finally take place under lights, with teams deciding on the hours of play and the brand, type and colour of the ball to be used.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has long argued that the game needs to recognise that fans have a better chance of watching Test cricket if it is played at night.

“Test cricket is by definition played on at least three week days, times when most people are at work or school, and this limits the ability of fans to attend or watch on TV,” he said in a statement.

“We limit ourselves by staging cricket's premium format at times when fans often cannot watch.”

He said when a Test was played in Perth on Australia's west coast, which is three hours behind the cities of Sydney and Melbourne, the television audience was much higher because fans on the east coast were home from work.

“CA has a formal strategic plan that demands that Australian cricket puts fans first and we will now add day-night Tests to the agenda when we talk to other Test nations about their future tours Down Under,” he said.

However, Sutherland added that he did not want to create expectations that day/night Tests were imminent.

“Finding a Test ball that is as easily visible in the day as it is at night is still a technical work in progress that the ICC is now leading and it has not yet been possible to predict when such a ball might be available,” he said.

While the traditional red ball is not regarded as suitable for playing at night, because it is not as visible as it is during the day, the white ball used in One Day Internationals was not durable enough for Tests, he added.

Experiments have included playing with pink, orange and yellow balls.

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