Sydney:The International Cricket Council's chief says dwindling attendance at Test matches could speed up the possibility of day-night fixtures, if a suitable ball could be developed.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, speaking at a press conference Friday to mark the council's 100th anniversary, endorsed a call by Cricket Australia head James Sutherland for day-night tests in an effort to improve attendance and television ratings.
"The lack of crowd attendance at many grounds around the globe is a cause for concern," Lorgat said. "In that was the possibility of exploring day-night cricket because there is no doubt James Sutherland has put that on the table.
"We all know the technical difficulties on that. If that's an answer to ensuring the status it has because it's a better time proposition, then I would be in favor of it."
The main technical difficulty is the ball. Wear on the ball is a key factor in tests, and day-night tests would need to find a method to replicate the wear when switching from a red ball during the day to a white ball at night, or develop a ball that was equally visible in day and night sessions.
ICC president David Morgan defended the ICC's desire for Zimbabwe Cricket Union chairman Peter Chingoka to attend this month's council meeting in Perth.
Chingoka, a supporter of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, has been banned from visiting Australia by the federal government as part of sanctions against the Mugabe government.
"We're hopeful that Peter Chingoka, the chairman of ZCU, will be given a visa to attend the meetings in Perth," Morgan said. "Simply for the Perth meetings.
"Certainly Mr. Chingoka was allowed into the U.K. on two occasions after initial application was put on hold. Were making strenuous efforts to try to ensure a visa will be made available for this specific purpose."