Pink-ball Test ‘unlikely’ for 2019 Ashes

Michael Ramsey
(Australian Associated Press)


Australia’s mission to win an Ashes series in England for the first time in almost two decades is unlikely to include a day-night Test despite growing interest in the spectacle.

Steve Smith enjoyed one of the proudest moments of his captaincy when his side reclaimed the urn earlier this month.

He can cross another item off his bucket list in 2019 when Australia return to the UK for their Ashes defence.

Not since Steve Waugh led his side to a 4-1 triumph in 2001 have Australia vanquished their old foes on English soil.

The sides made history last month when Adelaide hosted the first Ashes day-night Test, which Australia won by 120 runs.

But despite bumper crowds packing Adelaide Oval, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief Tom Harrison says he can’t see a pink-ball clash being accommodated in 2019.

“I think we’ve got a format that works brilliantly well for us in Ashes cricket in the UK,” Harrison told ABC Grandstand on Wednesday.

“I think we’ll wait and see but it’s unlikely, I would say.”

Harrison’s counterpart James Sutherland indicated he was comfortable with such a decision.

“We’re obviously great advocates of it, we’ve seen the success of it here but Tom knows his conditions better,” the Cricket Australia chief said.

England hosted their first and only pink-ball Test in August when they claimed an innings-victory over West Indies at Edgbaston.

While the 2019 Ashes series looms large on the Test horizon, Sutherland noted a tour of South Africa in March and a home series against India next summer were also high priorities.

“We haven’t won in England since 2001 so from our perspective that’s a very clear focus,” he said.

“But there’s a bigger picture for us … we want to be No.1 in Test cricket, we want to be No.1 in the other two formats of the game and we’ve got a very clear strategy to try to be that.

“We’ve got a very sharp focus now on South Africa … if we can win that, we will be going a long way towards being No.1 in Test cricket.”


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