Pakistan to host first-ever day-night Test against West IndiesSport
KARACHI: Pakistan on Thursday announced the schedule for their series against the West Indies in the United Arab Emirates beginning next month, including their first-ever day-night Test.
The series, which runs from September 23 to November 3, includes three Twenty20 internationals and as many one-day and Tests, the highlight being the day-night Test in Dubai in October.
Australia hosted the first-ever day-night Test at Adelaide against New Zealand in November last year, with high attendance figures as it drew fans who could watch the match after their working hours.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is attempting to revive waning interest in the five-day game with the day-night innovation, and termed the Adelaide Test a "big success".
Australia will also host two day-night Tests against South Africa and then Pakistan during their home season, starting in November.
Pakistan's plans to host the day-night Test were made after they agreed to play Australia.
The West Indies Test will give them their first taste of playing an international match with the new pink balls used in the day-night Test last year.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement it "will host its first ever day-night Test match from October 13-17 to be played with the pink ball under lights at the Dubai cricket stadium".
The West Indies will tune up for the day-night Test with a three-day side game in Sharjah, also under lights.
The PCB had offered to host the Twenty20s in Pakistan, but the West Indies refused on security fears.
Pakistan has not hosted any international cricket — barring three one-days and as many Twenty20s against minnows Zimbabwe in May last year — since an extremist attack on the Sri Lankan bus in March 2009.
Despite playing all their matches in the neutral venues of the UAE, Pakistan rose to number one in the Test rankings earlier this week after drawing their four-match series against England 2-2.
"This will be a landmark achievement to host day-night Test," PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan said, adding that he expected the Test to attract a good number of fans in stadium.
"Pakistan is currently at top in the Test ranking. I believe this would be a good attraction for fans to come and watch the number one Test team," the PCB chief said.
The chairman further termed the contest as an opportunity to prepare for the pink ball Test against Australia at Brisbane's Gabba ground later in the season.
"This would also help PCB to generate revenue and gain financial rewards," Khan added.