Sri Lanka reject Pakistan plea for day-night UAE Tests
Sri Lanka have rejected a request from Pakistan to play day-night Test matches in their upcoming series in the UAE, citing the players’ lack of practice in such conditions as the reason for their decision.
Pakistan, who confirmed in June that their next two series against Sri Lanka and South Africa would be held in the UAE, have used the Emirates as their ‘home’ ground since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team during a Test in Lahore in 2009.
The Sri Lanka series starts in December and comprises of two Twenty20s, five ODIs and three Tests.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and lodged a request with their Sri Lankan counterparts (SLC) to host the Test matches in day-night conditions.
"We have proposed the idea of playing day-night Tests with Sri Lanka in December-January in UAE and their reply is awaited," PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar told AFP.
However, those hopes have now been quashed after the SLC rejected the PCB's request.
"Since the national team players have not practiced under lights and with the new pink ball, the executive committee decided to stand by the decision taken by the national team management, to inform PCB that SLC is not willing to play a day-night Test match as requested by PCB," a SLC release said.
The challenge facing such Tests has been to find a ball that is clearly visible in both sunshine and floodlights, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it had sent the Sri Lankan board a dozen balls of pink and orange colour for them to examine.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) had approved the day-night matches under floodlights as a way to stem dwindling interest in Tests in many countries.
The UAE has a large expatriate Pakistani community but few show up to watch Test matches, in part because they are played during the day when most are at work.
No country has yet tried the new format and the ICC has left it to individual boards to decide when and how to experiment.
Indeed, the proposal of hosting day-night Test matches in the UAE was recently endorsed by former Australia captain Steve Waugh, who believes it would be a great way to generate more interest in cricket’s traditional format.