CSA conducts day/night four-day trial match
Cricket SA (CSA) became the third International Cricket Council (ICC) member to experiment with playing conditions when the North West Dragons hosted the Knights in a four-day day/night match at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom this week.
This follows similar trials conducted by Pakistan and Australia, where matches started late in the day and ended in the late hours of the evening.
The four-day match started on Monday and while it does not have first-class status, CSA is using this match as a trial to provide feedback to the ICC.
Each day’s play starts at 2.30pm and ends at 9.30pm.
A pink ball is used with black sight screens, and the players wear their normal white clothing.
Knights’ skipper Morne van Wyk was one of two centurions on day one and was positive about playing cricket under the new conditions, but was wary of certain aspects of playing at night.
“Depending on the time of day, it can get quite tricky, especially during the twilight phase where it can get quite hard to bat,” said Van Wyk.
“However, when it got darker, it got a bit easier to bat.” Van Wyk believes that for now, bowlers are likely to have the upper hand.
“I can see in the future that bowlers might be keen for this and batsmen not so keen as from what I’ve seen, it will favour the bowlers.”
CSA match referee Devdas Govindjee, together with the umpiring team, will monitor the playing conditions and will gather important information, before consulting with the coaches and players of both teams, ahead of his final report to CSA.
According to Govindjee, an area that will need attention is the monitoring of the match ball.
“We’ve had three balls being used in the match so far, after the seam in the first ball split, while the colour of the second ball faded,” Govindjee said.
“So we have to look at all those aspects and then the weather conditions and the condition of the pitch will also play a part.
“The pitch was quite abrasive and that played a part in the ball being changed as well.”