Pakistan could host a Pink Ball Test at Karachi in the upcoming ICC World Test Championship clash vs Bangladesh. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Test cricket is returning to Pakistan after a decade with the Sri Lankan cricket team arriving in the country for two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi. The two Tests are part of the ICC World Test Championships and it is a welcome sign for world cricket that the improved security situation has seen the return of Test cricket in Pakistan after the deadly terror attacks in Lahore in 2009 on the Sri Lankan side stopped all international tours to the nation. The series against Sri Lanka will be followed by a series against Bangladesh which is also part of the Test championships. Bangladesh are all set to tour the country after 16 years and there will be heightened anticipation.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has planned something grand for the series against Bangladesh. According to sources within the Pakistan cricket board and reported by Geo TV, the PCB has reportedly decided to turn the Karachi Test of the Bangladesh series into a Day-Night fixture. While most top Test playing nations have by now staged at least one day-night match, Pakistan has been unable to do the same on its own soil.
If the PCB manages to pull it off, then Karachi will join Eden Gardens in this historic achievement. During the series between India and Bangladesh, the Eden Gardens Test at Kolkata was a Pink Ball Test and it received a tremendous response. The stadiums were packed and there was awesome attendances on all days as India won by an innings to finish the match in just two and a half days. Eden Gardens became the first venue in the sub-continent to host a Pink Ball Test and Karachi could become the second if they host Bangladesh for a Day-Night Test.
In Asia, only two venues have hosted the Pink Ball Test. Apart from Kolkata, the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the UAE hosted the second-ever Pink Ball Test between Pakistan and West Indies in 2016. In that game, Azhar Ali became the first batsman to hit a triple century in Day Night Tests while Devendra Bishoo took 8/49 as Pakistan secured a tight 57-run win. Dubai hosted the second Pink Ball Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2017 and Dimuth Karunaratne's 196 and combined with Dilruwan Perera's eight wickets in the match helped Sri Lanka win the series 2-0.
The first-ever Day Night Test was played between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval in 2015 and Australia won the contest by three wickets in what remains the closest margin of wins in the format. There have been a total of 13 Pink Ball Tests and all have produced results.