First day-night Ashes Test set for Ade­laide

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Aus­tralia will host Eng­land at the Ade­laide Oval in the first day-night Ashes Test dur­ing the 2017-18 se­ries, build­ing on the suc­cess of the con­cept de­spite lin­ger­ing con­cerns. The se­ries be­tween the arch-ri­vals opens at the Gabba in Bris­bane from Novem­ber 23 be­fore head­ing to Ade­laide then Perth. Mel­bourne hosts the tra­di­tional Box­ing Day Test with Syd­ney round­ing it off, Cricket Aus­tralia an­nounced yes­ter­day.

This is fol­lowed by five one-day in­ter­na­tion­als be­tween Jan­uary 14-28 be­fore a Twenty20 tris­eries also in­volv­ing New Zealand, to be played on both side of the Tas­man.

Ade­laide hosted the first-ever Test un­der lights us­ing a pink ball last year and it was a roar­ing suc­cess, with record at­ten­dances for the clash against New Zealand. Buoyed by the pub­lic re­ac­tion, the same venue was used for a daynight Test against South Africa last month, while Aus­tralia face Pak­istan un­der lights in the first Test at Bris­bane this week.

Cricket Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive James Suther­land said Ade­laide fans loved Test cricket un­der the stars and he ex­pected a full house next year. “I know there are some peo­ple who don’t the view the day-night Test match as some­thing that’s needed for Ashes cricket,” Suther­land said. “But we think there is go­ing to be more day-night cricket com­ing up and the suc­cess of Ade­laide in the last two matches is there for all to see.” Aus­tralian cap­tain Steve Smith and his Eng­land coun­ter­part Alas­tair Cook both sug­gested ear­lier this year that the Ashes should re­main a tra­di­tional red-ball af­fair.

Smith has since changed his tune af­ter this year’s day-night Test against the Proteas. While the Gabba has long been the first Test on the Aus­tralian sum­mer cal­en­dar, it lost that right to Perth this year.

Suther­land said Perth had been pushed back to mid-De­cem­ber for the Ashes to give it more time to com­plete con­struc­tion of the new 60,000-seat Perth Sta­dium. If it is not ready, the match will re­vert to the WACA Ground. “We’re very com­fort­able with the tra­di­tional or­der, and let’s be hon­est, this venue is a real strong­hold for the Aus­tralian team,” he said of the Gabba. Suther­land added that given the slightly lat­erthan-usual start to the se­ries, the sched­ule al­lowed for at least three Sh­effield Shield matches to be played be­fore the Bris­bane opener as prepa­ra­tion. A lack of Shield cricket was one of the rea­sons blamed for Aus­tralia suf­fer­ing a run of five heavy Test de­feats this year, be­fore a newlook side ended the slump by beat­ing South Africa last month. — AFP

ADE­LAIDE: This file photo taken on Novem­ber 27, 2015 shows the sun set­ting over the Ade­laide Oval dur­ing the first day-night cricket Test match be­tween Aus­tralia and New Zealand in Ade­laide. Aus­tralia will host Eng­land at the Ade­laide Oval in the first day-night Ashes Test dur­ing the 2017-18 se­ries, build­ing on the suc­cess of the con­cept de­spite lin­ger­ing con­cerns. — AFP

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