Edgbaston reports strong sales for day-night Test
Warwickshire have hailed the decision to host a day-night Test a "great success" after better than anticipated ticket sales.
The club have already sold more than 45,000 tickets for the first three days of the Test (against West Indies) and expect that number to exceed 60,000 before the match starts on August 17. Sales for day two and three - Friday and Saturday - are particularly strong.
Day-night Tests have been played with success in Australia and the UAE but, given the unpredictable climate in the UK, there is some trepidation about how the first day-night Test in England will go. There were also fears that a relatively modest West Indies Test team might not represent the attractive proposition it once did.
From a ticketing perspective, though, the idea has clearly been well-received. Warwickshire are especially delighted with the fact that more than 40 percent of the sales have been made to people who have never previously bought Test tickets which suggests either the timing - with the game stretching into the evening - or the spectacle is helping the game appeal to a new market.
While it is hard to provide more than a rough estimate, the club believe that, had the game been scheduled as a normal day encounter, they might well not have reached 30,000 sales by this point.
"This is a Test that could have proved a pretty tough sell," Warwickshire's chief executive, Neil Snowball, told ESPNcricinfo. "But we've seen there are clear benefits from the novelty value and we're looking forward to a great event."
The match - the first day-night Test in which England have played - will be preceded by a round of day-night Championship matches at the end of June in which all of England's Test players are scheduled to be made available. That means that James Anderson, who is likely to take the new, pink ball in the Test against West Indies, will have the chance to bowl with it when Warwickshire host his Lancashire team at Edgbaston in a game starting on June 26.
England will also play a day-night Test against Australia in Adelaide in November.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo