England & Wales Cricket Board Considering Annual Day-Night Test
The England & Wales Cricket Board is "looking into the possibility of making the floodlit Test an annual feature" of the English summer after the first game at Edgbaston was "hailed as a success," according to Nick Hoult of the London TELEGRAPH. Warwickshire County Cricket Club "enjoyed" its biggest crowd for a non-Ashes Test on the second day of the match between England and the West Indies, and "despite the one-sided nature of the contest the club exceeded all its commercial targets for the game." The ECB is "now considering holding a floodlit Test every year in order to build up momentum" for the concept in the U.K. Next year, India will tour England along with Pakistan. One "stumbling block" for next summer will be that a later start time "would not be popular with Indian broadcasters" given the time difference between the two countries would mean the Test finishing in the early hours of the morning in Asia. In '19, Australia will tour England and it had been "assumed" the next floodlit Test would be in '20 because Ashes tickets "do not need the novelty of a floodlit match to sell." But the ECB worries that waiting until '20 for another floodlit Test "could be too long to wait," and if the floodlit Ashes Test is a success this winter, "there will be momentum for repeating it" in '19. Birmingham City Council estimated the floodlit Test was worth £15M ($19.2M) to the local economy "because the later start time saw more hotel rooms sold than usual bringing more money into the West Midlands area" (TELEGRAPH, 8/21).