Day-Night Tests 'appalling' idea, says Ian Botham
Former England all-rounder, Ian Botham, has come out strongly against England hosting day-night Tests, given the weather conditions at night and the behaviour of the pink ball under lights. The ECB had announced plans of hosting the West Indies in August next year for a day-night Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Only two nations have hosted day-night Tests thus far - Australia and UAE - with Australia set to host another one against South Africa this month. If the Birmingham Test goes as per plan, England will become the third nation to host a day-night Test.
“It’s ridiculous. I think it’s appalling,” Botham told AFP in an interview. “Test cricket is the flagship. You cannot play day-night Test cricket in England because the difference between bowling in the day time, and bowling in the evening, it’s unfair," said the former English all-rounder
Day-night Tests were thought of as a solution to bring more crowds to Test matches.
Amazed we are going with day-night Tests, says Botham
However, Botham has hit out at the idea and stated that the pink ball would misbehave under lights in the evenings. A few players who played with the pink ball also said that in the evening, the ball swung more and became softer.
“I am amazed we are going ahead with it,” said Botham. “We do well (with crowds) in Tests in England. The first three days are certainly usually sold out. They are going to do it, so we will all sit back and watch.”
Botham has a valid point as England has witnessed good crowd for Test matches, unlike other countries, which struggle to fill even half of the stadium for Test matches.
Botham gives thumbs up to DRS
However, the Englishman did not want to be mistaken as someone who is against innovation and voiced his support for the Decision Review System (DRS).
DRS became a critical player in England's Test series against Bangladesh as 27 decisions were referred to the third umpire in the series with 13 overturned.
Though the on-field umpire, Kumar Dharmasena was at the end of some cruel jokes, Botham voiced his support for the Sri Lankan stating that it was difficult for umpires on such surfaces.
“It (DRS) is not going to go away.” said Botham. “It’s very difficult for umpires on those surfaces. There’s been a lot turned over, but it’s very difficult when you start on turning wickets and there’s uneven bounce. One thing it does do is that it gets rid of the howlers. No umpire deliberately gets it wrong.”