England v Pakistan: Joe Root says bad light issue must be 'addressed'

By Matthew HenryBBC Sport at the Ageas Bowl

The issue of bad light in Test cricket "needs to be addressed", says England captain Joe Root.

Bad light and rain ruined the drawn second Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl, with only a day and a half's play possible across the match.

Root, 29, said authorities could consider using a brighter red ball, bringing forward the start time and improving floodlights.

"It is something that needs looking at higher up the chain," he said.

"It is way above my pay grade but there are different things that may be able to be trialled to see if there are other ways we could do things in this country to avoid similar scenarios.

"It has been a huge talking point but it needs to be addressed somewhere somehow."

England reached 110-4 in reply to Pakistan's 236 before Root and Pakistan captain Azhar Ali agreed on a draw that preserved the hosts' 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The Test was the ninth shortest in England in terms of balls bowled, although it was only the third draw in the past 43 Tests in the UK.

Root said "we've got protect the game as much as possible", adding: "You don't want to drastically change the game too much for potentially only an hour's bad light in a five-day game."

Under International Cricket Council regulations, umpires can take the players off for bad light when they deem it "dangerous or unreasonable" to continue.

The officials were criticised in Southampton, particularly on the first two days when play was stopped despite the light not seeming dangerous.

Root, who said he did not blame the umpires, added: "We are all for playing but don't want anyone getting injured or hurt because of light or wet ground."

Azhar said: "It's tough. A spectator, outside the ground, will obviously want to see the game being played, but umpires and the other authorities will want to put player safety first because they are the ones under pressure and the ones who have to do it in the middle.

"I think they are doing a great job."

'I'd love to tour Pakistan'

Pakistan must win the final Test, which starts at the same ground on Friday, to draw the series.

There have been calls for the next series between the sides, scheduled for 2022, to take place in Pakistan.

England have not played in Pakistan since 2005, and there were no Tests in the country for 10 years after gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

Root said he would "love" to play in Pakistan but that it was "not my decision to make".

"It would be a great opportunity to go and play there personally," he said.

"It looks a wonderful country to go play in. The wickets look nice and flat as well, which would be a nice change to what we have had here."

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