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Cricket Australia chief hints at day-night Ashes tests

Sutherland said he respected the concern of Australia captain Steve Smith and others, but reiterated that a pink-ball Ashes test would be a “natural progression.”

Australia hosted the first day-night test at the Adelaide Oval last year, beating New Zealand in a low-scoring match. The venue will host another day-night test in November, after South African players ended weeks of debate by agreeing Wednesday to be involved.

On Thursday, Sutherland said day-night tests will allow for bigger audiences at the matches and on television and predicted there’d be “somewhere between zero and two” day-night tests during the next Ashes series.

He spoke after Smith, playing in the West Indies in a limited-overs tri-series, said the Ashes “works pretty well with the red (regular) ball ... playing against England, we always get the viewers and the crowds out, so I don’t think there is any issue there.”

England captain Alastair Cook has also indicated he’d like the 2017-18 Ashes series to be all traditional day matches. Dates haven’t been announced for that series.

The Adelaide day-night test last year was completed in three days, but drew 124,000 spectators and television ratings were also favorable. “I think there’s a natural progression for us to get to a stage where Ashes test matches are played as day-night games,” Sutherland said. 
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