The first-ever day-night Test that just finished in Adelaide overnight has proven a winner for fans and TV ratings.
The much-maligned Kiwis managed to make a right fist of the game and it finished in dramatic circumstances last night (albeit in just three days).
Broadcaster Nine will be crowing about the result with 1,670,000 metro viewers tuning in to last night’s session according to OzTam figures.
In even better news for Cricket Australia and Nine, the three days were played to nearly sell-out crowds (120,000 people) – a marked improvement on the first two Tests that got crowd totals of 55,000 over the five days in Brisbane and 40,000 over the five days in Perth.
However, what this means for the game itself and the day-night concept remains to be seen. The low scores in the Adelaide Test – both teams barely managed to get passed 200 – wouldn’t have endeared the concept to players while Nine and its sponsors would’ve hardly been happy with the game finishing within the three-days.
It is believed the new pink ball and players adjusting to the evening conditions meant the match was stacked in the bowlers’ favour and prejudiced teams batting at night.
There had been reports that players themselves were none to thrilled about the concept and agreed to the Adelaide Test reluctantly.
However, many advocates of the game have come out in favour of the concept saying it is the only thing that can save Test cricket. Former captain Steve Waugh recently telling B&T that interest in Tests is waning the cricketing world over bar Australian and England.
“I think Test cricket at night will be great and the big picture is that Test cricket is dying in a lot of other countries. If we don’t do something to rejuvenate it then we may not have Test cricket. Sure, it’s still strong in Australia and England but other countries aren’t watching it. You can’t just sit back and watch it die and not do anything about it, and it’s great that Australia has taken a lead with this,” Waugh said.
As yet, there are no immediate plans for more day-night Tests with the upcoming series against the West Indies (with games in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney) all slated as daytime only affairs.