Pakistan and West Indies lock horns in Asia’s first day-night Test match
DUBAI (92 News) – The first-ever pink ball, day-night Test match in Asia will start today (Thursday) when Pakistan and West Indies lock horns in Dubai. The historic Test match will hopefully bring in the crowds in the UAE and also get the best out of two talented teams.
While in certain centers, Test match cricket is still followed closely, most countries in the world struggle to get quality crowds in to watch the five-day game. There is no doubt that Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport, so in order to keep it relevant and bring in the crowds, playing matches in the evening, when the supporters can come in and watch after work, is essential.
Australia and New Zealand featured in a day-night Test at Adelaide in November last year — the first such fixture in the 140-year history of Test cricket.
Pakistan captain Misbah said he was relishing the prospect of a day-night Test, where play will be from 3:30 pm to 10:30 pm (1130 GMT to 1830 GMT) with two breaks of 30 minutes. “It’s exciting because I think the future belongs to day-night Tests,” said Misbah, whose team will be missing senior batsman Younis Khan, still recovering from dengue fever.
Misbah hoped his team will make the match — Pakistan’s 400th Test — one to remember. “Two things (the pink ball and 400th Test) have mixed so it has become exciting for the players. It’s an honour for me to be leading the Pakistan side and this becomes a motivation to do well and make it memorable.”
Pakistan have included in-form batsman Babar Azam, 21, for his first Test after he racked up 360 runs during the one-day series against West Indies. But misfiring openers Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood have been axed from the squad which leveled the four-match Test series against England.
West Indies captain Jason Holder has said he is a fan of the concept of day-night Test cricket, urging players to give the format a chance. Holder said he felt the day-night format would give Test cricket the push it needs to sustain itself in the modern cricket market.
“I like the concept and I think it is one that should be there to stay,” he said. “We have to give a chance to something new. Obviously, teams might first take time to adjust to it. Test cricket needs that bit of impetus, needs a bit of a push, and I think, possibly, day and night cricket could be it.”
As far as this series is concerned, Pakistan have accumulated more experience than the West Indies under lights, adopting the colored ball concept six years ago for the final of their domestic premier first-class tournament. Pakistan have more than one reason to do well in Dubai – as well as grabbing a slice of Test history in their maiden pink-ball Test, the match is also their 400th Test since playing their first in India in 1952.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Leon Johnson, Alzarri Joseph, Marlon Samuels, Jomel Warrican