Cricket Australia is hopeful the Day-Night Test becomes a permanent feature in Adelaide from the next season after an underwhelming turnout on the opening day of the ongoing Test against India, reports Cricbuzz.
The Adelaide Oval recorded its lowest Day 1 attendance – 23,802 – since the stadium was redeveloped in 2013.
The venue has hosted pink-ball Test every year since 2015 but hit a roadblock in their endeavour to continue the tradition after BCCI denied the request to play Day-Night Test on this tour. There were other mitigating circumstances, including the hot Adelaide weather and some general disillusionment with the Australian national team following the ball tampering scandal, but board CEO Kevin Roberts believes the shift back to day Tests cost footfalls in the range of about 15,000.
“No doubt we have lost that particular group of fans [who like Day-Night Tests] for this Test. We are looking forward to the day-night Test coming back to Adelaide,” Roberts told SEN Radio. “You look at the way fans have embraced it. I am an advocate for day-night Test cricket but it doesn’t matter what I think, it’s what the fans think.”
Under current ICC rules, the touring team can deny fixture requests but Roberts hopes BCCI would change its current stance on the Day-Night fixture (India are yet to play a D/N Test) and agree to play the novel pink-ball Test on India’s next visit here. “Let’s hope so. We will take it one step at a time. We embrace that they have a different view of this Test match but we hope in time, with the sentiment from fans, we can have a day-night Test,” he said.
Cricket Australia has been particularly stumped by the strong Indian contingent in Adelaide giving the Test a miss. The turnout for the series opener on Thursday (December 5) was lower even than the corresponding number on Day 1 of India’s last visit here in 2014 when a crowd of 25, 619 people turned up. In contrast, the opening day attendances for the the three pink-ball matches have seen turnouts of 47,441 (vs New Zealand in 2015), 32,255 (vs South Africa in 2016) and 55,000 (vs England in 2017) respectively. Meanwhile, early ticket sales trend for the inaugural Test at the new 60,000-seater Perth stadium is not very promising and Cricket Australia is hoping that a nail-biting finish to the first Test will help draw more spectators to the venue.
“I would suggest it’s something to do with that it’s not a regular fixture on the calendar, it’s a new venue, it’s close to Christmas. Hopefully, it goes for five days here [in Adelaide] and the cricket community are inspired to attend in bigger numbers than what we suspect,” Roberts said.