England's wait for day-night Test edges closer as Edgbaston gears up to host three-day game under floodlights
The wait of the English crowd to see day-night Test being played in the country is edging nearer to a close after it was revealed that Warwickshire will be hosting their second-team match against Worcestershire's 2nd XI at Edgbaston instead of the originally scheduled venue, the Barnt Green CC.
The dates of the three-day match have also been shifted with the match being shifted from its original dates from August 15 to 17 and will now instead be played between August 22-24.
Though Australia remains to be the only country in which a day-night Test has been played so far – the hosts had taken on Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval in November 2015 with the match enjoying much fan-fare and reaping in huge commercial success – many countries are set to follow suit with the cricket world becoming more and more accepting of the fact that Test cricket needs to be reinvented to overcome the challenges raised by the shorter formats of the game.
India have held two day-night matches so far and could still host its first ever Day-night Test against New Zealand when the Black Caps come visiting later this year. Pakistan are also set to host West Indies in a similar setup in the UAE and have been making the push for the same by modifying the format of their premier domestic competition to feature many day-night matches.
England, the place where T20 originated to much fanfare, before spreading across the cricketing world like wildfire is finally set to make giant strides in their plans to host a day-night Test and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is keen to see how the match unfolds at Edgbaston in the midst of all the concerns raised by some cricketers regarding the feasibility and durability of the pink ball.
"Staging first-class matches under lights with a pink ball is a format which has worked well elsewhere in the cricketing world and it's important we consider ways in which we can attract more people to first-class cricket in the long-term.
“We'll be monitoring this trial match closely and we would like to thank Warwickshire for their support in hosting the fixture,” Alan Fordham, the ECB's head of cricket operations, said.
Warwickshire chief executive Neil Snowball expressed confidence that the day-night match would turn out to be a historic one and promised setting up the best facilities to ensure the grand success of the event.
"The concept of day-night cricket has attracted a large amount of interest around the world and we are keen to support the ECB by exploring the potential for these fixtures in England and Wales. With the quality of facilities that we have here at Edgbaston, we want to explore the concept and moving the 2nd XI match in August is the first step into looking at whether day/night cricket can form part of our first-class game in the future," Snowball said.
The first-class he is referring to is the County Championship match against Lancashire starting on September 20 and depending on the success (or failure) of the day-night experiment, that match could well be played under lights as well.