London : There is a long way to go before day-night Test cricket becomes a reality as there is still no viable alternative to the red colour ball, said Dave Richardson, International Cricket Council's general manager of cricket.
'The Marylebone Cricket Club has been great in initiating trials around the world, but before we look at these projects we need to establish up front, from a scientific point of view, what makes sense,' Richardson was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday.
MCC played Durham at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi so that ICC could trial the pink ball under floodlights with the long-term aim of introducing day-night Test matches.
'The balls that have been developed so far are still a long way off being able to last 80 overs.'
'They just get too dirty. The beauty of the red ball is that it keeps its colour even when it's old,' said Richardson, who watched the match.
Richardson's views will seem unnecessarily cautious to those wanting to press ahead with a day-night version of the longer format, but plainly there are caveats, not least the floodlit aspect of a game originally intended to augment the glory of a summer day.
'We need to commission a university to tell us what is the best option for colour combination for ball and sightscreen,' said Richardson.
'I'd be surprised if we couldn't find a ball that worked within 12 months, even if it was developing a better white ball.
'There are going to be some markets that prefer to watch Test cricket in the evenings and if we can schedule matches at that time we must do it. There will be a solution if there is a will for day-night Test cricket.'