Warwickshire v Lancashire: Bears plan to stage day/night Championship match

Edgbaston under lights for this week's Second XI Championship match between Worcestershire and Warwickshire
Edgbaston under lights for this week's Second XI Championship match between Worcestershire and Warwickshire

Warwickshire are hoping to make this season's final County Championship home fixture a day/night match.

The match against Lancashire, scheduled for 20 September, has been earmarked following a successful day/night trial in this week's Second XI home game with Worcestershire at Edgbaston.

Day/night Championship cricket was first experimented with when Kent hosted Glamorgan in 2011.

Just as then, the Lancashire game would have to have nothing riding on it.

If either of the two Division One sides were still battling against relegation, or competing for serious prize money, then switching to day/night hours would not receive approval from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

If it does take place, it would the first time it has happened in English cricket's top flight, the Kent-Glamorgan game at Canterbury having been in Division Two.

The future of day/night cricket, especially at Test level, remains on the long-term ECB agenda, especially given the success of the third Test between Australia and New Zealand at Adelaide in front of record-breaking crowds in November 2015.

The first game to be played in England with a pink ball was at Lord's in April 2008, when the MCC beat Scotland in a 50-over game.

Matt Lamb was Warwickshire's second centurion of the match in the three-day Second XI Championship draw against Worcestershire
Matt Lamb was the second centurion of the match in the three-day Second XI draw against Worcestershire, during which a pink ball was used

The ECB verdict on the latest day/night experiment

Alan Fordham, head of cricket operations, was one of a host of ECB officials who attended Edgbaston over the course of the three days:

"For me, much of this is about the cricket ball. We want to try to get to a cricket ball that produces a game of cricket that is as similar as possible to when we are using a red ball in the longer form of the game.

"It's one step at a time really. I'm hoping that the modern cricketer will look at this and think this is something we're pleased to be a part of because it's about making the game as accessible as possible.

"Cricket has changed enormously in the last 15 to 20 years, and I see this as something that could certainly play a decent part in the future."

The Edgbaston view on a possible day/night Test

Neil Snowball, Warwickshire chief executive, has a long-term vision to host a day/night Test at Edgbaston:

"First of all we wanted to see how the ball behaves under the lights here, and also how visible it is, particularly later on when we get into the proper darkness. We also wanted to see how it works with the dew.

"We've been working closely with the ECB and the MCC who have been pioneers with the pink ball. We like being involved in innovation here at Edgbaston. We had the first county day/night game here in 1997. Who knows, it might happen."

Dressing room view on pink balls

William Porterfield captained Warwickshire in the three-day Second XI Championship draw against Worcestershire:

"There's been a bit of talk about visibility but it was all fine. It swung a little bit, but it hasn't behaved too dissimilarly to what a regulation Dukes ball does.

"A day/night Test at Edgbaston? I don't see why not. You might need to bring a coat for the last session. But apart from that, I think it's going to be pretty good. Whatever's going to draw the crowds in. If it's going to mean getting more exciting games, then I'm all for it."

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