Strauss backs day/night Tests

2016-05-19 18:17
Andrew Strauss (AFP)

Leeds - Andrew Strauss said on Thursday he was in favour of day/night Tests as one of his fellow England and Wales Cricket Board officials said it was just a matter of time before such a match was played in the sport's birthplace.

Attendances for Test cricket in England have held up well compared to many other countries.

And there is a view that, with the English cricket season coinciding with the longest daylight hours in Britain's calendar, there is no great need for radical change.

But the way spectators flocked to the first Test played under floodlights between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide in November has not gone unnoticed by former England captain Strauss, despite concerns from players regarding the visibility of the pink ball deemed necessary for day/night matches.

"There's much more of a will around the world to embrace day-night Tests," Strauss, now the ECB's director of England cricket, told BBC Radio.

"There's still some niggley issues, but, in principle, I'm for it," he added in an interview broadcast during the opening day's play in the first Test between England and Sri Lanka at Headingley.

"If people can come after work and see a stunning spectacle in the five-day format, I'm for it."

His comments were backed up by ECB chairperson Colin Graves, who said: "You can't turn your back on it, it will happen.

"We just have to decide when it is going to happen. We're doing a lot of work on it and we'd love to see day/night cricket."

Strauss has already been responsible for introducing one innovation this English season in the form of the 'Super Series'.

Taking a cue from the women's Ashes, for the first time in men's cricket points will be on offer in all the matches between England and Sri Lanka to produce an overall winner across all three international formats - Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches.

But while the rationale in the women's game - where far fewer fixtures take place in a bilateral series and often with no Tests at all or just a lone long-format clash - is clear, many pundits are unconvinced by the need for something similar in men's cricket.

"I don't get it. It doesn't rock my boat," former England captain Michael Vaughan told BBC Radio.

"I think T20 cricket and Test cricket is a different sport. The focus has to be how do we make Test cricket stand alone. By bringing them all together, you will dilute Test match cricket.

"The administrators have to look at Test cricket. They have to make promotion and relegation, so there's a relevance."

But Strauss defended the new system by saying: "This is one way of providing extra context. There is no harm in trying things.

"We see quite different audiences for the three formats and this is a way of connecting them together."

Meanwhile Graves insisted the ECB were committed to supporting England's existing 18 first-counties, saying "two or three" had been saved from insolvency in the past year.

Read more on:    england  |  andrew strauss  |  cricket

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