India's refusal to agree to a pink-ball clash in Adelaide has impacted on ticket sales but officials are still confident of breaking the ground record for a Test against the tourists.
South Australian Cricket Association chief Keith Bradshaw said on Tuesday pre-sold ticket sales were lower than what had been the case since the revamped venue began hosting day-night Test cricket in 2015 but insisted this had nothing to do with the fall-out of the ball tampering scandal.
The SACA has hosted New Zealand, South Africa and England but India refused Cricket Australia's request for the series opener to be held under lights because they have yet to play with the heavily-lacquered pink Kookaburra ball. Australia have won each of the four pink-ball matches they have played in, including against Pakistan at the Gabba in 2016.
Bradshaw said the day-night concept, complete with a social, party feel, had been a success, with India's refusal impacting on sales.
"It has been an issue – it has affected ticket sales," he said.
"One of the characteristics that we have noticed is that we are quite down in interstate sales given it’s a day Test, not a day-night Test. There is definitely a day-night factor, without a doubt.
"The fans have absolutely voted with their feet the last few years that we have had day-night Tests – we have been significantly up for attendances."
The overall attendance record for a Test against India in Adelaide is 113,000, coming in 2014 when Australia won by 48 runs despite a century in each innings from Virat Kohli.
CA is in negotiations with the Pakistan Cricket Board for the tourists to play under lights in Adelaide next summer. While Pakistan agreed to play under lights two years ago, the PCB recently declined to do so against Australia in Dubai, for it was felt the sometimes dewy conditions did not help their match-winning spinners. They had played with a pink ball against the West Indies and Sri Lanka.
Under current International Cricket Council laws, the touring nation can deny the home board's fixture request but there is a push to change that when the new future tours program kicks in next year.
Tony Irish, the chief of the Federation of International Cricketers Association, has said touring teams needed to be given adequate preparation with the pink ball ahead of a day-night Test, something CA has done in the past. India would at least have been given a four-day hit out.
Day-night Tests have lost momentum this year, with for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh having resisted requests to play.
Ticket sales in Adelaide have also not been helped by the South Australian government opting to cancel all train services in Adelaide this weekend because the control centre will be shifted from the city to the northern suburbs.
CA has said up to 14 per cent of match attendees use the train, with weekends of particular importance.
“We’re, obviously, very disappointed that the trains won’t be running on Saturday and Sunday," Bradshaw said.
"But there has been a lot of work that has been done in order to provide substitute bus services and we’re working very closely with the government to ensure that we can provide the best service that we possibly can. There will, obviously, be some fans that will be impacted in the outer areas."
CA has said it was only told about the train issue late last week.
"There was no forewarning from the government that this interruption posed a risk to services and there was no consultation ahead of the decision," a CA spokesman said.
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