With test match cricket, continually under scrutiny with fewer spectators turning up than in past decades – due to the success of T20 cricket – cricket authorities around the world are re-modelling the format of the longer game to continue its appeal to fans of the 5 day game.
The game next summer at Warwickshire, will start on Thursday August 17th and finish on Monday 21th August, starting at 2pm and finishing at 9pm.
The format has already started in Australia, when they took on New Zealand in Adelaide last year under lights, which resulted in a successful outcome. The next to try it, will be in United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan – who currently play tests – take on West Indies.
Edgbaston, which, back in 1997 hosted the first ever floodlight one-day match against Somerset, will be a special place to hold England’s first ever floodlight test match, according to its chief executive, Neil Slowball.
“It’s exactly the right time of year in late August – still summer, so fingers crossed we’ll have warm summer evenings, but well away from the longest day, so the nights are starting to draw in and we’ll have plenty of play with the floodlights taking effect.
“I think Edgbaston looks spectacular under lights, especially when it’s full, as we’ve seen with the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day for the last few years. The prospect of the special atmosphere that is created for an Edgbaston Test, which is so popular with the England players, added to that floodlit spectacle, makes it really exciting not only for us in the Midlands, but for the whole of English cricket.”
Although cricketers will retain white clothing which is de rigeur for test matches, the red ball which is unique with test cricket goes out and in comes the pink ball. Something that has been trialled for a long time in floodlight cricket to gain cricketers opinions, and was used at Edgbaston in a recent trial for night-time cricket.
England’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison was delighted at the prospect coming next season.
“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 cricket.”