Day-night Test: Proteas not bribed

AB de Villiers (Gallo)
AB de Villiers (Gallo)

Cape Town - An extra monetary reward was not the reason for the Proteas changing their minds on playing a day-night Test against Australia later this year.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Tuesday announced that the third Test against Australia in Adelaide, starting on November 24, 2016, will be a day-night fixture.

Several Proteas players were initially against the idea of playing with a pink ball and when Tuesday’s announcement came it led some to believe that perhaps a monetary reward had changed the players’ minds.

It is believed that New Zealand were offered an amount of $1m to play the first day-night Test against Australia last year.

But Tony Irish, chairperson of the South African Cricketers’ Association, said it was not the case with South Africa.

“The players were only worried about the unknown conditions they would have to encounter in such a match,” Irish told Netwerk24.

“They simply wanted to be prepared. There was never any money offered by Australia. The players will get the same match fees as for any other Test.”

The Proteas are currently scheduled to arrive in Australia in mid-October and will proceed immediately to Adelaide to play a warm-up match with a pink ball under lights as part of their preparations. This will be the very first time they will be exposed to such conditions.

An additional warm-up match under lights prior to the third Test is also being planned, giving the players a further opportunity to acclimatise to the pink ball.

In addition to the warm-up matches, the first four-day match of the upcoming A series tour between Australia ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’, starting on July 30, will also be played with a pink ball, providing some of the potential Test players further opportunities to acclimatise to the pink ball.

There’s now new-found excitement in the Proteas camp following the confirmation of the match.

“As players, we are really happy to have grown our confidence to play a day-night Test match in a positive way,” captain AB de Villiers said via a press statement.

“We were never against this exciting concept, but only wanted to give ourselves the best opportunity of competing in conditions that will be new and foreign to us. Two warm-up matches will hopefully give us an idea of what to expect and hopefully our preparations will help us to adapt accordingly.  

“This will be the first time that our players in the Test squad will play pink ball Test match cricket in front of such a large crowd and to be part of this novel concept will no doubt be a landmark moment in all of our careers,” he said in conclusion.

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