SYDNEY -  Discussions over whether Australia will host England in a first day-night Ashes cricket test next year are taking place but nothing has been decided yet, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Thursday.

England head Down Under next November for the 2017-18 series and local media reported on Thursday that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had agreed in principle to play one of the matches under lights. A CA spokesman, however, said there had not been an agreement yet and the tour itinerary was still being finalised, though a day-night test was part of the discussions.

"Ongoing scheduling of day-night tests in the Australian summer is a natural progression," the spokesman said. "The Ashes is a great contest and attracts huge audiences both at the ground and on television, but nothing has yet been confirmed for next summer."

CA have hosted two day-night tests under lights over the last two seasons, both of which have been a commercial success with large numbers attending the matches against New Zealand and South Africa. While both games were at the Adelaide Oval, making it favourite to host a day-night Ashes test, Brisbane's The Gabba will host its first pink ball test later this month when Australia play Pakistan.

England are to host their first day-night test next August at Edgbaston against West Indies. Alastair Cook, the England captain, said earlier this year he was against playing an Ashes test under lights in comments echoed by Australian counterpart Steve Smith. Both felt the traditional rivalry, the oldest in world cricket, generated enough interest.

However, CA chief executive James Sutherland, a major proponent of pink-ball cricket, said the success of the two Adelaide Oval games indicated the desire for at least one day-night test. "The scheduling of day-night tests has been driven by a desire to make test cricket more accessible, so it is wonderful to see the format resonate with so many of our fans," Sutherland said after the South Africa game ended on Sunday.

Smith also told local media on Thursday he felt pink ball cricket was here to stay, particularly given the way lessons learned from last year's match against New Zealand had been applied. The inaugural day-night test lasted just three days with the twilight drastically affecting the movement of the pink ball, while batsmen also said they found it hard to see under lights.

The match against South Africa lasted four days and an improved ball did not move around as much in the evening session, nor get scuffed up by the pitch. "I've always said we need to get the product as right as we can and the ball in as good a shape as we can and I think they've made some good improvements with that," Smith told Australian Associated Press. "This year's game was outstanding. Slightly less grass than the year before and it was almost the perfect test wicket. There was enough in it for everyone; both bat, ball, the ball spun. "I think it's certainly here to stay."

Starc-Hazlewood to be Australia's best ever: Gillespie

Former Test star Jason Gillespie believes pace spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will become the greatest fast bowling combination Australia has ever produced.

Gillespie, touted as a potential successor to current Test coach Darren Lehmann, said their performance in the recent series defeat to South Africa was a rare bright spot. They finished as the first and third-highest wicket takers with Hazlewood grabbing 17 at an average of 22 and Starc 14 wickets at 30. The duo have now played 17 Tests together since Hazlewood's debut two years ago and have taken 161 wickets alongside each other.

"Starc and Hazlewood, without doubt, will be the best fast bowling combination Australia has ever produced," Gillespie, also seen a possible replacement for Rod Marsh as chairman of selectors, told cricket.com.au Thursday. "They'll stay fit, they'll stay healthy, they're learning their trade all the time, they complement each other very well.

"Starc (is a) really fast, aggressive, nose-and-toes attacking option who can swing the ball late at pace. "And then you've got Hazlewood who is an aggressive bowler but in a different way. He's aggressive with his relentless line and length, he's very disciplined."

For his prediction to come true, they will have to surpass some of the greats of the game, including Gillespie who teamed up with Glenn McGrath to take 484 wickets between them in 58 Tests across a 10-year period. Other great partnerships included Merv Hughes and Craig McDermott and Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.

"In many years' time when we're reflecting on great Australian cricketers, those two (Starc and Hazlewood) will be right up there," said Gillespie, now back in Australia after a hugely successful five-year spell coaching English county Yorkshire.