Alastair Cook rejects calls for day-night Ashes Tests

England's Alastair Cook during nets

The England captain, Alastair Cook, has joined his Australian counterpart Steve Smith in rejecting the idea of Test matches in future Ashes series being played under floodlights.

Both boards are known to be considering a day-night fixture as part of England’s Ashes tour in 2017-18 and are keen to utilise the format more widely after it was successfully trialled by Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval last year.

Speaking after it was confirmed that Australia will face South Africa under lights using a pink ball this November, Smith said he would prefer the Ashes remain a daytime affair, given the series already draws strong audiences both at the gate and on television.

And now Cook has supported this argument, saying: “A lot of the games have really good attendances, so I don’t think that’s a series where you need to do it at this precise moment in time.”

Cook, who has played in two day-night first-class matches in the past, sees the value in pursuing the concept but admits to concerns over the viability of the pink ball.

He added: “I think my general view of day-night Test cricket is that there is definitely something there that the ICC can keep looking at because it moves the game forward with timing and allows more people to come and watch.

“The biggest problem I have with it is the quality of the pink ball. I don’t mean any disrespect to those making it, but on the two occasions I have played with it, it didn’t behave the same way as the red ball.

“That is one of the great things about Test cricket, the ball. Sometimes it swings conventionally, sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes it reverses. The pink ball I played with didn’t do anything like that.”

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