Sunday, 9 October 2016

England v West Indies Day Night Test Edgbaston 17th - 21st August 2017

So what is the real reason for holding a day/night test match with a pink ball? Are we supposed to believe this will save the game? Well I don't believe that for one minute.

So we could possibly be playing an Ashes Test under lights next winter. That really isn't getting much support down under (or from the England Captain)  because of course the Ashes matches sell out anyway, so what is the point then. But if there is a day night test then of course we do have to play some kind of practice match. It would be foolish not to. So I can see that and believe that to be one reason.

The other main reason that is given to US all the time is that this will enable those that are working to pitch up at about 5pm to 6pm and get to watch some evening Cricket. Well yes some will, but most will want to be there at the start at 2pm. Surely the idea is to sell seats from the START of the day at full price. 

If the weather is 50/50 then you will probably still go to watch a full day, but if it is 50/50 at 5/6pm then I certainly would be a little more unlikely to go along. The other negative is going along completely sober at 5/6pm and sitting next to a drunken mob is not going to be a lot of fun.

What is the real reason? It is of course TV this is perfect for Sky TV, its not rocket science why, their viewing figures and ability to sell dishes with their overall package will obviously go up. Not many of working age can sit down in front of TV and watch a test match all day long, but they can certainly watch a couple of hours early evening. 

To get bums on seats is so very easy, you reduce the price to sensible figure. Unfortunately for far too long going to a Test Match is to most people a special treat such as a birthday present. The overall costs that used to be about £100 a day is now more like £150 a day. Yes it is a great day out, but it is also far too expensive, and we are really being fobbed off with this day night excuse, bring down the cost of tickets and you will sell out...... it is that simple. 

The game is going ahead, and it opens up an enormous amount of anomalies with the weather and light. 
They have chosen 17th - 21st August which is mainly because of the need to switch on the lights during the "Dinner Break" The first two sessions being held with lights off. Dew will be an issue, in late August..... but perhaps..... that will even up the contest as batting will be very difficult during dusk. During the experiment at Egbaston this year, the lights didn't really kick in until very late on, the Warwickshire fans said they were really only effective for about 45 minutes. This won't always be the case of course, you can get darker nights earlier with cloud cover. But this is the opposite to science, it is called the English Weather. Getting the date about right is crucial though, you can't do this experiment any old time. 

The hours of play will be 

2pm - 4pm 1st Session

4pm - 4.20pm Tea 

4.20pm - 6.20pm 2nd Session

6.20pm- 7pm Dinner

7pm - 9pm 3rd Session 

Half an hour extra is possible if required due to interruptions. 

Reading the Warwickshire forum it is clear that they are split on this, but some have posted that they are open to giving it a try and others coming up with good reasons for and against. It sounds like ticket prices are actually starting at a more sensible price, now that's a shock isn't it? Get an experiment that you want to be a success, and so you reduce the ticket price, well that helps. 

Edit - It has also now been announced that a day night "round" of matches will be played in the County Championship, the date of this has yet to be decided however it is expected to be in June, which will most certainly mean that the evening session is played in dusk, or even fading light, rather than dark 

It will be interesting no doubt about that, but with the changes in weather that we experience in England quite honestly anything could happen and probably will.

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