Melbourne, July 24 : Authorities at Melbourne's Telstra Dome have reportedly offered to host night Test matches to woo international cricket away from the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Cricket Victoria will consider the Telstra Dome offer at its board meeting next month.
The Age quoted the chairman of Cricket Victoria, Geoff Tamblyn, as telling club delegates that the right to host international cricket in Melbourne is likely to be put to tender, pitting the history and tradition of the MCG against its cross-town rival in a potential repeat of the acrimonious battle that developed when games were last up for grabs a decade ago.
While it is possible that the rights could be split, with Telstra Dome hosting limited-overs matches (including at least some Twenty20 games) and the MCG with its larger capacity retaining the Boxing Day Test, authorities are also investigating whether Telstra Dome could provide the right conditions to stage day-night Test matches, a revolutionary ambition voiced by Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland this year.
Cricket Australia is working with scientists to develop a ball that would be suitable for Test cricket under lights, with dew another factor in determining suitable venues.
"I made it quite clear at the delegates' meeting there would be a likelihood of going to tender," Tamblyn said.
"We have had a very good offer from Ian Collins and Michael Green at Telstra Dome. We will work through that. It's certainly for one-dayers and could be extended to Test cricket if it lends itself to day-night cricket," he added.
The MCG's agreement to host international cricket expires in March, and negotiations have been taking place for more than 12 months. Cricket Victoria is also seeking a more favourable commercial agreement.
Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide said a decision to go to tender had not been reached, but confirmed Telstra Dome's roof offered appealing insurance against the rain and that day-night Tests were on the agenda.
Relations between Cricket Victoria and the MCC were strained in May when Tamblyn labelled the MCG pitch the worst in the country.