Sun, Jan 03, 2016 - Page 19 News List

NZ pushes for pink-ball ‘extravaganza’

SOUTH AFRICA TOUR:New Zealand Cricket boss David White said the success of the Australia pink-ball Test had prompted calls for a similar game against South Africa

Reuters

New Zealand batsman Henry Nichols, left, plays a shot as Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal reacts during the fourth one-day international at Saxton Oval in Nelson, New Zealand, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

New Zealand are keen to build on the momentum of the inaugural day-night cricket Test with their own “pink ball” match, possibly against South Africa next season.

About 120,000 fans flocked through the gates of the Adelaide Oval over three days of play to watch Brendon McCullum’s side lose to Australia in the first day-night Test in November.

On the back of such undeniable public support for the concept, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said the idea of hosting a pink ball Test had already been discussed.

“I think it’s a distinct possibility,” White told Newstalk ZB yesterday. “Obviously, South Africa would have to be keen as well, but I think that it’s very much a possibility.”

NZC was already considering a full round of day-night first-class matches next month to test the concept, which would give it an indication of whether the conditions would be suitable during South Africa’s tour in February next year.

“The big difference between New Zealand and Australia is that it will be a big challenge to do it before Christmas because of our weather, but I think post-Christmas — when it’s a lot warmer at night — I think will be more attractive,” White said.

NZC also initially suggested it would trial the concept in a Test against Bangladesh, but after witnessing the interest in the Adelaide game, decided to make it more of an extravaganza, White said.

“As a first-off game, it was just outstanding,” he said of the Australia game. “Huge crowd and a great spectacle, [so] I think if we’re going to do it, the first one should be a very big game, provided we get the conditions right and make it a huge, big extravaganza.”

Hamilton’s Seddon Park, which hosted a warm-up fixture under lights with the pink ball for the New Zealand side before they went to Australia, looms as a likely venue for the match.

Seddon Park groundsman Karl Johnson traveled to Adelaide to discuss preparations and to monitor how the wicket and ball performed in the twilight conditions.

ONE-DAY SERIES

AP, NELSON, New Zealand

The fourth match of the one-day series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka was rained out yesterday, abandoned after just nine overs were bowled and leaving the hosts with a 2-1 series lead going into the final match of the series.

Heavy rain overnight and throughout the morning saturated the playing area at Saxton Oval.

When play began, the contest had been reduced to 24 overs per side and Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bowl.

The tourists started strongly, reducing New Zealand to 75-3.

Big-hitting Martin Guptill was out for 27 from 14 deliveries, Tom Latham fell for 9 and stand-in captain Kane Williamson was caught and bowled by Dushmantha Chameera for 12.

Ross Taylor was 20 not out and Henry Nicholls 4 not out when rain returned after only 42 minutes of play, chasing players from the field again.

Umpires Richard Illingworth and Billy Bowden said the arena could not be brought up to a reasonable playing standard in the time remaining.

The last match of the series is to be played at Mount Maunganui on Tuesday.

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