ADELAIDE: Players revelled in the electric atmosphere generated by a huge curious crowd attracted to the Adelaide Oval for the first-ever pink-ball Test match on Friday.
The day-night Test, the first in the traditional game’s 138-year history, drew 47,441 fans — the biggest international crowd at the famous ground since the evocative 1932-33 Bodyline series.
A total of 12 wickets tumbled on a dramatic first day with players excited playing before a large appreciative audience.
“It was a great day. Everyone who came and witnessed what went on will be very impressed with the whole experience,” Australia paceman Peter Siddle said.
“I think cricket in general was supported well here and it would have been on TV all over the world. For cricket it’s definitely been a great day.
“The atmosphere out there was amazing from early on until the end of play, the crowd was upbeat and especially when we were on a roll and getting some wickets.
Just like the advent of one-day internationals in the 1970s and the glitzy Twenty20 format in the last decade, Test cricket was poised on the threshold of a game-changer.
On first evidence day-night Tests are expected to proliferate around the cricket-playing countries with administrators seeing it as a way of reviving the traditional five-day game.
“We need to see a bit more of it, to be honest,” Kiwi paceman Trent Boult said amid reports that New Zealand could be interested in staging a day-night Test in the near future.
“It was a great buzz out there, everyone could see that.
“It was amazing to be playing Test cricket in front of 50,000 people.
“We’ve got to see how this one goes and how it pans out. It definitely is exciting for Test match cricket.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson believes the day-night Test is part of a package to lift the five-day format.
“The game needed to understand the demands and expectations of both the fans and its key stakeholders, and Tests played into the evening session will provide an option to countries where Test cricket was facing attendance and commercial issues,” Richardson said in a statement.
Concerns about the visibility of the newly-designed pink ball were largely allayed although there were some issues just before sunset.
“As the sun is going down, and coming through the stands, it’s definitely the hardest part,” Boult said. “Visually at night, I reckon it (pink ball) stands out like a sore thumb.
“It’s just that little hour window where it’s quite difficult. But that’s obviously something everyone is going to target.
“It definitely swung around a little bit there with the new ball and from what everyone is saying, it’s a different game under lights.”