Brisbane (Australia) – Australia captain Steve Smith threw his support behind next year’s day-night Ashes Test against England on Wednesday — but said one was enough for the series.
Ashes Schedule for 2017/2018 is available on CricketSchedule.com
Both Smith and his England counterpart Alastair Cook had previously called for the Ashes Tests, which have no problem attracting fans, to keep their traditional timing.
The Aussie skipper had no reservations after the announcement that Adelaide would host the first ever pink-ball Ashes Test, but he said one game under floodlights was enough.
“I’m happy with just the one,” said Smith, ahead of Thursday’s series opener against Pakistan, which will be the maiden day-night Test at Brisbane’s Gabba ground.
“I think crowds, TV ratings and things like that are never an issue in the Ashes.
“You can just look and see how the last two Adelaide Tests have gone, they’ve been great spectacles, just good games of cricket.
“I think it’s great that we’re going to play an Ashes pink-ball Test there next year.
“I’m happy for it to just stay with one.”
Australia hosted the first day-night Test, using a pink ball for better visibility under floodlights, in Adelaide last year in what turned out to be a groundbreaking success for the flagging, five-day format.
Australia also played South Africa under lights in their recent Test series, and Pakistan faced the West Indies in a day-night Test in Dubai in October.
England will get pink-ball experience ahead of next year’s Ashes when they host their first day-night Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston in August.
Meanwhile, Smith also said Australia’s current player pay dispute was not on his mind heading into the Brisbane Test against Pakistan.
Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association had two days of talks this week over a new five-year agreement, but said discussions were “ongoing”.
ACA wants to keep the current system, in which the players’ pay pool comes from a percentage of CA revenue and which has been in place since 1997.
“I’m worrying about this Test match. With Wahab Riaz charging in bowling 150 km/h, the last thing I want to be thinking about is whether I’m getting paid too much or anything like that,” said Smith.
“At the moment I’m leaving the ACA (players union) to handle that, speaking with Cricket Australia. I know both of them want the right thing for cricket going forward.”
“I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement.”