Day-night Test matches could be introduced after ICC meeting

Committee chaired by Anil Kumble also keen to redress balance between bat and ball

Grounds such as Lords could soon be holding day-night Test matches. Photograph: Getty

Grounds such as Lords could soon be holding day-night Test matches. Photograph: Getty

 

Test-playing nations will be encouraged to find opportunities to compete in day/night matches by the International Cricket Council.

While one-day and Twenty20 internationals have been played into the night under floodlights, the longest format of the game has been exclusively limited to during the day.

Playing into the night with a pink ball has been mooted for some time though, and it may have moved a step further towards becoming a reality after the ICC Cricket Committee met over the weekend in Mumbai to discuss a number of issues.

While shortening Tests to four days is currently unpalatable for the governing body, it concedes the issue may be re-addressed at a later date.

A release said: “There will be a strong recommendation from the Cricket Committee to member countries that they should identify opportunities to play Test matches that extend into the evening hours.

“There was also discussion on the concept of four-day Test cricket, and while the committee was not of the view that Tests should be shorter than five days, it acknowledged that the game will need to be open to considering proposals in the future that look to enhance the public appeal of cricket’s oldest format.”

The committee, chaired by former India captain Anil Kumble, will also recommend three rule changes to the ODI fielding restrictions as it attempts to redress the balance between bat and ball.

While highlighting the “attractive and attacking brand of cricket” at the recent World Cup, the committee felt “there were times towards the end of an ODI innings that bowlers and fielding captains appeared to have limited defensive options available to them”.

Therefore, it will ask the Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) to remove the batting powerplay as well the requirement to have two compulsory catchers in the first 10 overs, while it is recommended that five fielders be allowed outside the circle in the final 10 overs as opposed to only four.

Another suggestion, subject to the approval of the CEC, will be a free-hit for all no-balls in ODIs and T20s rather than just for front-foot calls.

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