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Another day-night Shield round scheduled

Cricket

Cricket Australia has scheduled a day-night Sheffield Shield round in February. It is the latest indication that Australia will continue to host day-night Tests.

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CA boss James Sutherland has already floated the prospect of scheduling two day-night Tests next summer.

South Africa and Pakistan are both visiting in 2016/17.

Adelaide Oval is expected to host another pink-ball fixture, having been the scene of last month’s inaugural day-night Test, played between Australia and New Zealand.

Crowds at the Brisbane, Perth and Hobart Tests this summer were low – making them prime candidates for the innovation.

CA revealed on Tuesday that it was changing round seven of the current Shield season to be a day-night affair.

The Gabba, Adelaide Oval and WACA will host pink-ball Shield fixtures that begin on February 14.

CA’s head of cricket operations Sean Cary suggested the round would benefit players and help Kookaburra refine their pink ball.

“The public’s response to the first day-night Test was overwhelmingly positive and we’ve now had some time to evaluate feedback from everyone involved,” Cary said.

“As we look ahead to future international seasons and the prospect of playing more Test cricket under lights, we want to give our players more opportunities to play with the pink ball.

“These matches will be used as part of our work to keep refining the ball in close consultation with Kookaburra.”

Players still harbour concerns about the pink ball, especially how hard it is to pick up the seam.

Kookaburra is investigating whether a black seam would be viable.

The first day-night Test lasted three days and had a total attendance of 123,736.

The Nine Network was thrilled with its prime-time TV ratings during the event, which peaked at 3.19 million during a thrilling finish under lights.

– AAP

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