Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf believes that the proposal to have day-night Tests is a progressive one and has promised to back the idea to the hilt.
"Provided there are no technical problems in it for players and spectators we would not be averse to playing a day and night Test," he told PTI on Thursday. Ashraf said he saw having Test matches from late afternoon to night as a viable option to counter the growing interest in Twenty20 cricket.
"Day and night Tests could be one way to match the increasing number of T20 and ODI matches. We see it as a positive step which will mean prime time viewership for Tests and also an attractive alternate for working people to come to stadiums to watch five day cricket," he explained.
Ashraf had no doubt that day-night Tests will increase the value of five-day cricket. The ICC recently allowed its Test-playing member nations to play day-night Tests on a bilateral basis if they agreed to the specific playing conditions including the coloured balls to be used for such games.
Although a few member countries of the ICC, including Pakistan, have already experimented with day-night first-class matches, there is still no consensus on the colour of the ball to be used in such matches. But Ashraf said the ICC had taken a positive step by allowing interested boards to decide between themselves what type of coloured balls could be used.
"From what I know the pink coloured balls have been seen as the most viable options," he said. Ashraf said if any country offered Pakistan the chance to play a day-night Test it would not be averse to such a proposal.
"We would look into it provided there were no technical issues for players. In the end it should be the prerogative of a host board to decide whether it wants to have a day and night-Test because it has to take demands of its broadcasters into consideration as well," he said.
The PCB chief noted that Pakistan had never been shy of experimenting with ideas that eventually benefit the sport.
"Pakistan introduced neutral umpires so we have always been open to new ideas that are good for the future of the game and teams," he said. Interestingly, Pakistan is due to tour South Africa for a full Test series from January and the Proteas have also backed the idea of day-night Tests.