CA eyes hosting night Test cricket for India 2014 series under new Channel Nine deal

Melbourne, June 9 (ANI): Cricket Australia (CA) may be hosting night Test cricket on prime time television under the sport's new 500 million-dollar deal with Channel Nine.

Stating that the hours of play would likely be between 1 pm and 9 pm, Telegraph.com.au reported that although next summer's Ashes schedule is finalised for day fixtures, a starting date for the following season against India in November 2014 is under serious consideration.

The report further said that the Australian city of Adelaide is currently the favoured venue for the launch because of its dryer night conditions.

Confirming that the night games at venues across the country are a priority in future planning, CA spokesman Peter Young has said that the possibility has moved forward with the ICC decision that countries can play Tests at night if they jointly agree, adding that CEO James Sutherland has put this idea on the global agenda and has pursued it at the ICC level.

According to Young, the idea is based on the fact that sports fans prefer to watch games at night, either in person at a venue.

However, the report mentioned that the only hindrance to this idea is the lack of development of a suitable ball as red balls are hard to see at night, and white balls deteriorate too quickly for Test cricket, adding that experiments to come up with another colour- pink, orange or yellow, have failed to replicate the same outcomes as with red balls in that they wear too quickly.

However, Young said that CA is open to an outcome that the idea might require a slight compromise in ball quality compared to historic balls, adding that a ball that wears a little faster could be replaced slightly earlier.

According to the report, night cricket would give Channel Nine a much better chance of recouping the 80 million dollars a year that they are currently spending on cricket rights, and will also allow the network to increase advertising rates and offsets the costs of having to buy other shows for prime time viewing.

It also has its bonuses for Cricket Australia's future hope for growth in attendances as it would give fans the chance to finish work at five and catch almost the final two sessions at the ground, the report added. (ANI)

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