The lights are on for Eden Park, and call that a win for test cricket and common sense.
The locals who inhabit the environs around the old ground mightn't unanimously be in favour, but it's not as though floodlit sport in their backyard is anything new.

But the decision of an independent panel of commissioners for the Auckland City Council to permit the first test against England starting on March 22 to be played as a day-night, pink ball match has New Zealand Cricket smiling.

They had decided months ago that they wanted the test as a day-nighter - the first such contest in this country - and New Zealand's second after playing the inaugural pink ball test against Australia at Adelaide in late 2015.

The clutch issue was around playing on the Sunday. A test at Eden Park from Monday to Friday isn't sustainable, so the weekend has to be part of it.


The only night time Sunday sports at the ground have been the Rugby World Cup semifinal and final in 2011.

Initially NZC were prepared to take the game away from Eden Park if resource consent was not forthcoming, so wedded were they to the concept of a night-time test.

Eventually, when the schedule had to be released with time pressing, they dialled that determination back and plumped for Eden Park, irrespective of what time play began each day as planning had to be locked in.

NZC chief operating officer Anthony Crummy is delighted with the outcome as New Zealand becomes the fourth country to host a pink ball test after Australia, England and the United Arab Emirates, in its guise as Pakistan's de facto home. They hosted the West Indies in Dubai late last year.

England have another day-night test at Adelaide on this summer's Ashes tour, meaning they'll have three pink ball contests in a matter of months.

By the time the test arrives, it will be the seventh day-night test, after four in Australia and one each in England and the UAE.

Crummy said making money wasn't the sole motivation for the push towards day-night test cricket.

"We hope it's a great success [financially] but it's about getting more people to test cricket and keeping it evolving.

"Adelaide Oval is a huge marquee event and England has just had one in Birmingham [against the West Indies in the current series] and of the 70,000 who went almost half were going to test cricket for the first time. So case in point.

"It's all about making sure test cricket is on when people are in the best position to enjoy it."

The decision means England's two two-day warmup games at Hamilton's Seddon Park will be played under lights. It's not by chance the opponents will be England for what Crummy calls a "historic occasion".

"We wanted it to be marquee event," he said. "The history that comes with England, the travelling parties, we think the experience people will have at Eden Park [will be] mouthwatering ..."

Among matters which had to be worked through were the hours of play, crowd and noise control. Crummy is confident the event will work superbly as cricket takes a substantial step forward in this country.