Edgbaston will host the first day/night Test ever staged in the United Kingdom when England face the West Indies in Birmingham in August next year, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Wednesday.
England are now in line to become the third nation to stage a five-day Test under floodlights, following Australia’s day/night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last year and with Pakistan due to play the West Indies in a day/night Test in the United Arab Emirates next week.
A pink ball will be used, with players wearing traditional whites rather than coloured clothing.
The aim, as with all floodlit matches, is to encourage those who are at work during the day to attend.
Test matches in England, unlike many countries, are generally well supported and there are concerns the English climate may not be conducive to spectators sitting out to watch for several hours late in the day.Subject to confirmation from the International Cricket Council (ICC), the August 17-21 match between England and the West Indies, the first of a three-Test series, will have playing hours of 2:00pm-9:00pm local (1300-2000 GMT), rather than the English standard Test times of 11:00am-6:00pm (1000-1700 GMT).
Given that the English cricket season also coincides with the UK’s longest daylight hours, questions have also been raised about whether there’s much to be gained from having a floodlit Test in the country.
But ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said in a board statement issued Thursday: “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.”