The Daily Telegraph - Business

More day-night matches

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Six years ago, the Adelaide Oval hosted the first day-night Test match. It produced compelling cricket – the difficulti­es of batting at twilight providing a fresh point of intrigue – and followed the simple principle of staging sport when most people can watch.

Across the world, day-night Test matches attract about 25 per cent more viewers than daytime Tests. “People want to watch cricket at night. That’s when they have time,” a senior figure in cricket broadcasti­ng says. And yet, after Adelaide’s success in 2015, only 15 of the next 234 Test matches have been day-night games.

Day-night Test matches are not needed everywhere. In England, the demand for Test matches remains vibrant; there is no need for day-night Tests during holidays – such as the Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests in Australia

– either. But in most situations, day-night Tests offer a simple route to attracting more fans, both in stadiums and on television.

Day-night matches are not a panacea for Test cricket – there is not one. But if day-night Tests accounted for nearer 50 per cent than five per cent of Tests each year, they would help to give the format the best chance to be more relevant to more people.

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