• ‘Don’t mess with Test cricket’

    Former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher and England batsman Kevin Pietersen took to Twitter on Tuesday to criticise the plan to introduce day/night Tests to cricket.

    Reports have suggested that Australia and New Zealand appear almost certain to play the first day-night Test with a pink ball next year, after discussions progressed between the two countries last week. ‘I don’t think we’re ever going to get to a stage where everyone is completely satisfied or comfortable with it. If we go back 30-odd years in time when the first ever day-night One-Day Internationals were played, I’m sure there was that same level of trepidation that some stakeholders including players might have had about day-night one-day cricket and white balls,’ Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland told Cricinfo.

    For Cricket Australia, the suggestion has much to do with revenue. CA wants to bring more fans through the gates outside of summer holiday periods. The idea is that spectators would be more likely to attend Tests if they could turn up after work and see most of the day’s play. ‘Players are often quite concerned about changes in the way the game is played,’ Sutherland said.. ‘That creates an all-the-more-important reason for us to consult with them so they understand where we’re going and why it is.

    ‘Whilst there may be some trepidation or concern about the pink ball and what impact it has on the game itself, I think it’s really important that we continue to keep the big picture in mind and understand that in certain parts of the world the game of Test cricket is not as strong as it once was. If there are things we can do to enhance Test cricket to make it more popular, then that needs to be our ultimate aim. The last thing we want is to see Test cricket withering on the vine.’

    However, Pietersen and Boucher on Tuesday took to twitter to voice their displeasure. ‘Day/night Test cricket – what a joke! Hope all statistics start again then!’ Pietersen tweeted.

    Quickly, @denorich replied: ‘tennis grand slam floodlit match stats stand with day time stats! Don’t see a problem with night test cricket’.

    Boucher, the record-breaking Proteas wicketkeeper/batsman, climbed in. ‘disagree Deno. Don’t mess with truest form of game. Think conditions change too much anyway (dew etc).’

    And Pietersen agreed: ‘correct, Bouch! Get rid of ODI’s maybe?’

    Boucher then remained adamant Test cricket is king, while exploring the ODI suggestion with Pietersen. ‘possibly. Or water it down. So many leagues up and running now. Good debate! but pls don’t change test cricket.’

    ‘agree!’ concluded Pietersen.

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