The cricket purists have voiced their concern about day-night Test cricket, but the innovation has certainly given the sport a much-needed shot in the arm.
South Africa yesterday hosted their maiden “pink Test” when they won the toss and batted first in their one-off four-day Test match against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth.
Many suggest Test cricket is dying, especially after the introduction of the popular T20 format. The sport has to find ways of attracting new fans, and entertaining existing supporters.
With the exception of Cape Town, Test cricket is not well attended in South Africa, which makes the innovation so important.
That it is being played in Port Elizabeth over the festive period is also clever thinking as holiday-makers can spend the morning on the beach, and then pop in to St George’s Park to watch the cricket under floodlights.
The first four-day Test is a warm-up for the Proteas ahead of them hosting the rampant Indians in three Tests, starting from January 5.
Zimbabwe were asked to fill the gap left by India for the Boxing Day Test after they changed their schedule.
South Africa also host Australia, 3-0 up in the current Ashes series, in four Tests in March and April. Hopefully this will lead to more “out of the box” thinking.