Mumbai: India are unlikely to embrace the concept of day-night Test matches, a top official said on Wednesday, because a previous experiment in first-class cricket fell flat. The International Cricket Council announced this week that Tests can now be played under lights, with rival teams deciding on the hours of play and the colour of the ball to be used.
Cricket Australia applauded the move, but the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was lukewarm towards the idea despite having tried the concept in a domestic final in 1997.
"We were the first to experiment with this and our experience was not so great," said the BCCI's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty. "At this stage we have no such proposal."
The BCCI held the five-day Ranji Trophy final between Mumbai and Delhi under lights in Gwalior in April 1997. Bowlers struggled due to the heavy evening dew and frequent changes of the white ball. Just two innings were completed in five days. Mumbai, who made 630 after batting first, were declared winners after Delhi were dismissed for 559 on the last day.
Four bowlers from each sides conceded more than 100 runs apiece, their plight worsened by fielders unable to spot the ball both in the air and on the ground, especially in the outfield. Crowds are dwindling at Test matches in India even as one-day and Twenty20 cricket enjoys wide interest.
Cricket Australia conceded on Tuesday that day-night Tests were not imminent, since an ideal ball had yet to be found. Red balls used in Tests were not easily visible at night, while white balls used in limited-overs matches were found not durable enough for Tests.
Experiments have included playing with pink, orange and yellow balls.