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Adelaide to become a permanent day-night Test: CA

Cricket Australia wants the Adelaide Test to become a permanent day-night fixture and hopes India endorses the pink-ball concept when they next tour.

Officials were left concerned after a modest 23,802 turned out for the opening day of the series in Adelaide on Thursday, the lowest day-one attendance since the venue was redeveloped in 2013.

There were mitigating circumstances with temperatures hitting a stifling 40 degrees but the shift back to a day-only Test prompted CA chief executive Kevin Roberts to estimate that 15,000 had been lost as a result of the Board of Control for Cricket in India denying a request to have a pink-ball clash at the venue for a fourth straight year.

Roberts said it would also be "naive" not to think the ball-tampering scandal had had an impact, with the team losing the respect of many across the nation.

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"But I am really confident players are reconnecting those relationships with fans," he said.

As the Australian men's team strives to rebuild its reputation, Roberts also raised fears about next week's Test in Perth, conceding ticket sales had not been tracking well despite this being the debut Test at the new Perth stadium where capacity is 60,000.

He said there were "challenges" in Perth but hoped an exciting Adelaide clash would prompt fans to head to the venue which has replaced the WACA.

"I would suggest it's something to do with that it's not a regular fixture on the calendar, it's a new venue, it's close to Christmas. Hopefully, it goes for five days here [in Adelaide] and the cricket community are inspired to attend in bigger numbers than what we suspect," Roberts said on SEN.

The Western Australian Cricket Association has predicted 40,000 fans will attend day one of next week's Test – with the third tier to be closed to the public in a bid to provide a greater vibe – but Roberts appears to have cast doubt on that.

CA has worked feverishly to promote the Test beginning next Friday.

Pre-sales are typically a strong indication of what the final attendance will be because there are generally low walk-up sales in Perth.

Aaron Finch walks off the Adelaide Oval, which is a day-only Test this year.

Aaron Finch walks off the Adelaide Oval, which is a day-only Test this year.Credit:AAP

What has CA stumped is the lack of overall support – so far – from the strong Indian contingent living in Perth.

The day-night concept in Adelaide has been a success in terms of attendance and broadcast ratings although players have yet to fully embrace the concept because of the heavily lacquered pink ball.

There were 55,000 for day one of the Ashes opener in Adelaide last year, 32,255 on the corresponding day against South Africa a year earlier and 47,441 for the first year against New Zealand.

Ashes attendance are typically robust because of the presence of the Barmy Army and English tourists but that Thursday was well down on when the Proteas and Black Caps were in town is an issue.

Thursday's attendance was also lower than the 25,619 who fronted against India here four years ago.

"No doubt we have lost that particular group of fans [who like day-night Tests] for this Test. We are looking forward to the day-night Test coming back to Adelaide," Roberts said.

Roberts said he wanted the day-night Test to be staged in Adelaide on a permanent basis.

"You look at the way fans have embraced it. I am an advocate for day-night Test cricket but it doesn't matter what I think, it's what the fans think," he said.

He said he hoped the BCCI would agree to a day-night for the next tour here.

"Let's hope so. We will take it one step at a time. We embrace that they have a different view of this Test match but we hope in time, with the sentiment from fans, we can have a day-night Test," he said.

India continues to reject playing with a pink ball, whether that be at home or on the road.

As Australia had played four Tests under lights, the BCCI felt the home side would have had an unfair advantage this summer.

Under current ICC rules, the touring team can deny the home board's fixture requests, but that may change from next year when the new future tours program begins.

Roberts said he had been "proud" of the manner in which the Australian team had conducted itself in the field, having "walked a tight-rope" over its behaviour and culture since the disastrous South African tour.

Jon Pierik is a sports writer with The Age, focusing primarily on AFL football, cricket and basketball. He has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.

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