On Monday, Pakistan marked its 400th test with a narrow 56-run victory over the West Indies, and their first with the pink ball in the new day-and-night Test format. It was a momentous occasion for a rising Pakistan squad who will definitely relish the hard-fought win in alien conditions, but beyond the novelty there are serious considerations at play.

Test cricket is a dying sport, and perhaps has been for several decades now. The fast paced modern audience demands shorter and shorter formats packed with thrill after thrill, and Test cricket – with its five day long matches and frequent draws – has seen a gradual drop in viewership and crucially, in profits.

This has hit Pakistan the hardest; playing away from home in the UAE, the squad puts in performances in front of empty stadiums which lead to little revenue from ticket sales, while matches on weekdays are bereft of widespread TV viewership. The day-and-night format was an experiment to see if people can be attracted to the stadiums by making the timing more amenable to the working man – let’s see if that experiment has worked.

On the face of it, it didn’t. There was a marginal increase in attendance, but not enough to generate any sizable jump in revenue or even a sporting and lively atmosphere – even over the weekend. It seems more than the timings, it is the pace and style of play that puts people off from Test cricket. It was quickly pointed out by commentators and cricket pundits that the culture for test cricket, or even limited-overs cricket does not exist in the UAE – the real experiment would be a day-and-night Test in a place like Karachi or Lahore.

But that doesn’t solve the problem for the Pakistan Cricket Board. In a nation starved of international cricket, even an all-day affair against a major team will pack stadiums. Till that day comes, the revenue problem remains.

Another aspect of this experiment, and one that matters more to the greater cricketing community, is how the pink ball behaves under lights. So far the only two such matches have been wildly differing – one a runfest, the other a bowler’s paradise – to make any firm conclusions, but the comments from the players themselves hint at some unforeseen problem. The Pakistani captain has said that dampness affected the pink ball’s ability to spin and reverse swing and that the pitch did not deteriorate as it usually does at the venue because the dew. How much will this affect the verdict on the format remains to be seen.

So far the two matches played in the new format have not solved all of Test cricket’s problems – but both have served up some riveting contests. Perhaps that is what should matter in the end.