New ground is set to be broken next summer when England’s clash with the West Indies at Edgbaston becomes the first day/night Test match to be staged in this country.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that England’s showdown with the West Indies, the first Test of the series scheduled to take place between 17 and 21 August, will be played under floodlights.
Subject to final confirmation from the International Cricket Council, the hours of play will be 2pm until 9pm, while pink Dukes balls will be used. Players will continue to wear traditional white clothing.
England are to set to be the third Test-playing nation to pioneer a day/night Test. Australia hosted New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval towards the end of 2015, and Pakistan are set to face the West Indies under floodlights in the United Arab Emirates next week.
“We’re excited by the prospect of staging our first ever day/night Test match,” said ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison.
“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.”
The MCC conducted its first trial of a day/night first-class match using a pink ball during the pre-season curtain-raiser between a select XI representing the governing body and the champion county in 2010.
Today’s announcement followed a successful pink ball trial at Edgbaston between Warwickshire and Worcestershire’s second XIs this summer, while the West Indies’ tour match against Derbyshire next August will be played under floodlights as a means of preparation.
“Edgbaston staged the United Kingdom’s first day/night domestic match in 1997 and has a great history of hosting and selling out some of the biggest fixtures in the game,” said Warwickshire chief executive Neil Snowball.
“In turn, the Edgbaston atmosphere and match day experience has become iconic, with England having a fantastic record of victories here.
“Marking our 50th Test anniversary with a game of this magnitude will be a great occasion. We will be working closely with our delivery partners and keys stakeholders to ensure the first ever day/night Test match is a huge success.”