“Following careful consideration and engagement with all our Test players, and acknowledging the need to exploit the potential of playing day-night Test match cricket, I am pleased to announce that we have agreed with Cricket Australia to proceed with this fixture,” said CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.
The Proteas are currently scheduled to arrive in Australia in mid-October and will proceed immediately to Adelaide to play a warm-up match with a pink ball under lights as part of their preparations. This will be the very first time they will be exposed to such conditions.
An additional warm-up match under lights prior to the third Test is also being planned, giving the players a further opportunity to acclimatize to the pink ball.
In addition to the warm-up matches, the first four-day match of the upcoming A series tour between Australia A and South Africa A, starting on 30 July, will also be played with a pink ball, providing some of the potential Test players further opportunities to acclimatize to the pink ball.
“Our Proteas were initially hesitant to play such a key Test match without previous experience and adequate preparation but after working through all their concerns and the possible options to prepare sufficiently, there is new-found excitement for this novel Test match. Our players deserve credit for the way they have worked through their concerns which were clearly not insignificant.
“I want to express appreciation to my counterpart, James Sutherland, for his understanding of the issues and willingness to accede to our requests for adequate preparation as well as to the South African Cricketers’ Association for their support and assistance in working through the issues,” concluded Mr. Lorgat.
James Sutherland, the Chief Executive for Cricket Australia, welcomed the decision by Cricket SA and the Proteas. "Cricket fans will be delighted to hear the news that the third match of the Test series against South Africa will be played as a day-night match, particularly those planning to attend Adelaide Oval,” said Sutherland
“Nearly 124 000 people attended the inaugural day-night Test match in Adelaide last year and there has been great anticipation about future day-night Tests since. It's wonderful that the next one in Australia will be against South Africa. This announcement will further fuel the excitement about what promises to be a fascinating series between formidable rivals.
“I would like to acknowledge the open manner in which Cricket South Africa and the South African Cricketers’ Association have worked through this matter with us. We look forward to welcoming the South African players to Australia in late October and offering them the best possible preparation ahead of the series. We know everyone involved will relish the challenge and fully expect the Test match will be a memorable occasion,” Sutherland added.
There’s excitement in the Proteas camp following the confirmation of this match. “As players, we are really happy to have grown our confidence to play a day-night Test match in a positive way,” commented Standard Bank Proteas captain, AB de Villiers. “We were never against this exciting concept, but only wanted to give ourselves the best opportunity of competing in conditions that will be new and foreign to us. Two warm-up matches will hopefully give us an idea of what to expect and hopefully our preparations will help us to adapt accordingly.
“This will be the first time that our players in the Test squad will play pink ball Test match cricket in front of such a large crowd and to be part of this novel concept will no doubt be a landmark moment in all of our careers,” he said in conclusion.