New Zealand Cricket is in a holding pattern as a decision on whether Eden Park can host the country's first pink ball test draws near.

However it is optimistic the lights will be on next March for the historic day-night test debut.

With England touring next summer as the marquee event, NZC want a pink ball test at Eden Park as it dips its toes into the newest version of the game. They want it at Eden Park, and using both days of a weekend to maximise crowd attendance.

The match has been pencilled in for March 22-26, that is Thursday to Monday. Eden Park has never hosted Sunday night cricket, and that's the rub.


Resource consent for the Sunday night lights is required under Auckland's unitary plan regulations. Submissions close tomorrow with the decision expected next month.

Given a choice of pink ball test, or sticking with Eden Park whatever the outcome, NZC are leaning strongly towards the pink ball.

They would like the best of both worlds, but seem prepared to walk away from their ground with the biggest capacity, such is their desire to join the day/night test game.

"We just wait like everybody else, but what we do know anecdotally there seems to be a lot of support for the event," NZC's chief operating officer Anthony Crummy said.

"We are respectful of the concerns of residents, around noise and lights, but we're working with the park (so) that can be suitably managed. We think it's a massive opportunity, not only for Auckland but also New Zealand."

What NZC say they haven't done yet is ink in an alternative day-night venue if Eden Park is rejected.

The only options are Hamilton's Seddon Park, whose officials are keen, and Wellington's Westpac Stadium. Both those grounds were used in a day-night Plunket Shield round last season.

Seddon Park has regular day/night ODIs, trialled pink ball matches at the ground last season at first-class and district level and the feedback was positive.

Northern Districts chief executive Peter Roach is confident Seddon Park would be a viable venue for a pink ball test.

"We were active is trying to get the first day-night test," he said. "NZC made a decision, for valid reasons, to go for Eden Park.

"We believe we've been as proactive as we could be to put our hand up. If Eden Park didn't work out we'd be very willing to entertain a discussion on welcoming England here.

"We don't have concerts, or rugby. We're a cricket ground and don't have any other restrictions like Eden Park or Wellington.

"We see the landscape changing very quickly. There's no doubt day-night test cricket is becoming more regular aorund the world and we're ready, willing and able to host games if NZC think we're the appropriate venue."

Wellington Cricket acting chief executive Bryan Dickinson said Westpac Stadium would be up to the job, if asked.

"We're missing out at the moment and the most important thing is to get those big events into Wellington," he said.

"It plays fine, the lights are pretty good. From an operational point of view, we would be comfortable with it, but it would be Westpac Stadium's decision."

So New Zealand are heading down the pink ball test path; it's just a question of where.

"Have we made a decision what we would do (if Eden Park was rejected)? No, we haven't landed on exactly what we'd do. But certainly our strong preference is to have a day/night test."

He added playing a test from Monday to Friday, or Tuesday to Saturday "isn't going to work" in terms of maximising crowds, but "we're very hopeful" of a favourable outcome.

The first of the two England tests will be in Christchurch, and that is a day test.

Day-night tests
1: Nov/Dec 2015: Australia v New Zealand, Adelaide
2: October 2016: Pakistan v West Indies, Dubai
3: November 2016: Australia v South Africa, Adelaide
4: December 2016: Australia v Pakistan, Brisbane
To come:
August 2017: England v West Indies, Edgbaston
December 2017: Australia v England, Adelaide