Australia to use pink ball against Pakistan, South Africa

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ISLAMABAD: A revamp of Australia’s home international scheduling will mean Brisbane loses the first test of next summer and pink-ball matches will be played against both touring nations, South Africa and Pakistan.

Cricket Australia is finalising its international, domestic and Big Bash League schedules for the 2016-17 season, with an announcement expected this month.

There are changes afoot with the Gabba to forfeit hosting rights to the first test of the season and instead feature elsewhere in the calendar as host to the opening match of the Australia-Pakistan series, set to be a day-night match in December, Cricket Country reported.

In its place, the test summer will kick off between Australia and South Africa at the WACA in November, with the ability for the match to be beamed into lounge rooms on the east coast at prime time weighing heavily in Perth’s favour.

The series against the Proteas will head to Hobart, which has been retained as a test venue next summer amid competition from Canberra, before wrapping up under lights at Adelaide Oval, the scene of last year’s historic first pink-ball test.

Australia will then meet Pakistan in a day-night match at the Gabba and complete that series with marquee tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

Brisbane has struggled to attract decent test crowds outside Ashes years but by beginning the summer in Perth there is a belief that attendance numbers should be boosted by the city’s strong expatriate South African population.

By holding a second day-night test in Brisbane officials hope to replicate the success of the inaugural pink-ball showpiece between Australia and New Zealand last November.