Both of Australia's pink-ball day-night Test games have been played at the Adelaide Oval    Getty Images
Both of Australia’s pink-ball day-night Test games have been played at the Adelaide Oval Getty Images

By Greg Stutchbury

Wellington: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed in principle to play the first Ashes test under lights on 2017’s tour of Australia, local media reported on Thursday. Cricket Australia (CA) have hosted two day-night tests under lights over the last two seasons, both of which have been a commercial success with large numbers attending the matches against New Zealand and South Africa. Both games were at the Adelaide Oval but Brisbane’s Gabba will soon host its first pink ball test, against Pakistan later this month. The itinerary for the Ashes tour, which is scheduled for late 2017, was still being finalised but the ECB had agreed in principle to one of the five tests being under lights, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia (CA) has planned to introduce the Dukes ball used in England for domestic Sheffield Shield games to prepare players for the 2019 Ashes series against their arch-rivals. The balls, which have a more pronounced seam than the Australian-made Kookaburra, will be used from the second half of next season s competition. In recent times Australian teams travelling to England haven t adjusted well to local conditions and the swinging Dukes ball, general manager of team performance Pat Howard said on Wednesday. We have been on record saying that we will look at ways to address this deficiency and believe giving players greater experience with the Dukes ball is one way of doing just that. Some people might think changing a brand of cricket ball is a minor consideration, but as we have seen from past Ashes campaigns in England, it can be a significant factor, reported AFP.