Friday, October 7th, 2016

Day-Night Test At Edgbaston After Worcs Take Part In Successful Experiment

Day-Night Test At Edgbaston After Worcs Take Part In Successful Experiment

Edgbaston will next summer host the first day-night Test match to be staged in the United Kingdom – after Worcestershire participated in a successful trial match to test out the feasibility of such a project.

The first Investec Test match between England and the West Indies from August 17 to 21 will be played between the hours of 2pm and 9pm (times subject to confirmation from the ICC).

Pink Duke balls will be used during the five days and the players will wear traditional Test match clothing.

Worcestershire took part in a three-day Second Eleven Championship match against their Warwickshire counterparts under the same conditions at Edgbaston in mid August when also using pink balls.

Players and coaches from both sides gave their feedback to the ECB about conditions in a match which was played on the wicket used for the England-Pakistan Test.

Second Eleven coach Kevin Sharp felt that the experiment had been a success and that it could lead to Test cricket under lights in England – and his belief has been proved right.

He said: "Circumstances changed during the day. Early doors at two o'clock, the wicket was quite slow, the ball didn't come on and offered a bit to spin.

"Then as the day went on and when it got into the evening and a bit of dew came down, the ball skidded on a bit more and was probably a better time for batting in that respect.

"Twilight was a difficult period for viewing at times for players. One or two of the batsmen felt it was a bit glarey at that time and in England, the twilight period lasts longer than overseas. Overseas it goes from light to dark fairly quickly and in England it doesn't.

"During that period, the wicket-keepers found it a bit more difficult for judging, perhaps one or two of the outfielders as well."

In terms of playing with a pink ball, Sharp said: "Batters generally, apart from that twilight period, had no problem.

"The newer ball was easier to pick up with it being bright. When it went duller, it was perhaps at time a bit more difficult, particularly in that twilight period. There weren't any major problems."

England are set to be the third Test-playing nation to host a Test Match under floodlights, following Australia’s day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last year and Pakistan being set to host West Indies in a day-night Test in the UAE next week.

ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: “We’re excited by the prospect of staging our first ever day-night Test Match.

“It’s a great opportunity to attract more fans to the game and see how staging Test cricket in the afternoon and evening fits with working patterns and modern lifestyles, whilst maintaining the deep tradition of Test match cricket.

“We think it can help attract different fans and families to Test cricket and the innovation will certainly put the five-day game under the spotlight in a very busy summer for the game.

“A number of Test nations are looking at day-night Tests as a way of building further interest in our most traditional format. We’re glad to be supporting that and adding to the understanding of how this might develop in different countries.

“Our partners can also see the clear opportunity and have been supportive as we build towards this big occasion next August.

“We would like to thank the West Indies Cricket Board and Warwickshire CCC in particular for their support. Edgbaston has a great tradition of staging Test cricket and we’re really looking forward to working with them on this innovation.”

As part of the preparations for the Test Match, it has also been agreed that Derbyshire’s tour match against West Indies (August 11th-13th) will be played under floodlights with a pink ball at the 3aaa County Ground, Derby.