Sobers in support of day/night Tests
Cricket icon Sir Garfield Sobers has come out in full support of day-night Test matches, contending it can bring back spectators to the game in the Caribbean. The West Indies legend, considered the greatest all-rounder of all-time, was speaking to members of the media here, where he noted that spectator numbers had dwindled in the Caribbean.
He pointed out that afternoon starts and conclusion under lights would breathe new life into the five-day format.
"I think day/night cricket will bring back the fans to Test cricket. Actually, I think one of the first places for it to be played would be in the West Indies. I think it would really work in the West Indies," Sir Garry said.
"I remember the days when the grounds in the West Indies were filled to capacity with spectators. Nowadays the attendances have dropped off. But the fans like the matches which are played at night (mostly T20 format) so I believe day/night Tests would work well [in the West Indies]."
Day/night Tests are about to be trialed for the first time with Australia and New Zealand on the verge of playing the first ever game in Adelaide next month.
The West Indies Cricket Board had introduced day/night first-class four-day matches back in 2009 with mixed reviews, and trials were subsequently discontinued.
However, Sir Garry said such an innovation would add a new dimension to Test cricket.
"It is a good move to have Test cricket played day and night. I am all in favour of that," the 79-year-old Barbadian said.
The two-match rubber is named in honour of Sir Garry and Michael Tissera, the former Sri Lanka player and manager.
Sir Garry played 93 Test matches between 1954 and 1974, making 8,032 runs, taking 235 wickets and 109 catches.