Tauranga cricket fans will get their first taste of day/night cricket for the season next Friday when New Zealand A and India A play the first of three 50-over matches under lights at Bay Oval.
The Bay Oval Trust has decided that all three matches on December 7, 9 and 11, which were originally due to start at 11am, will now start at 2pm with a scheduled finish around 9.45pm.
The Bay Oval general manager Kelvin Jones says because the ground has the best lighting of any cricket ground in the country "it makes sense to use them".
India A is on tour in the Northern Districts area for a month. They played a four-day match against New Zealand A at Bay Oval two weeks ago which ended in a high-scoring draw. Their second game was badly affected by weather in Hamilton last weekend, and they start their final four-day match at Cobham Oval in Whangarei tomorrow.
It's not known just exactly who will make up the respective teams, but India A have named a squad for the three one-day matches which includes Shubman Gill, who was the Player of the Tournament in the Under 19 World Cup here earlier in the year.
Gill, who only turned 19 in September, played for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League this year on a contract worth US$280,000.
Also in the named squad is Manish Pandey who's played 23 ODIs and 28 T20 Internationals for the main India team.
With the Ford Trophy domestic 50-over competition finishing this weekend, the intrigue will be to see if the New Zealand selectors take account of form in that competition when picking the New Zealand A team.
Wellington's Andrew Fletcher has made 614 runs in his rookie season, including three centuries. But a failure yesterday for the Firebirds in the elimination final against Auckland won't have helped his chances.
New Zealand A lost all three 50-over matches to Pakistan A during their recent tour of the United Arab Emirates and will be keen to reverse that run of results at home.
Kelvin Jones is encouraging local fans to make the most of the late start and free admission to the games.
"We'd love to have people come along and set up their barbecue and enjoy some quality cricket hopefully on dry and warm nights next weekend."