West Indies in England 2017 April 28, 2017

Edgbaston reports strong sales for day-night Test


Edgbaston will host England's first day-night Test in August © Getty Images

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 2.14istherunrate on April 29, 2017, 15:00 GMT

    This should be a good prospect as the timing is right for a sensible use of floodlights- ie the evenings have drawn in a bit and they should be reasonably warm. It should be a good spectacle.

  • cricfan0115690251 on April 29, 2017, 14:29 GMT

    I'm very worried about this initiative, potentially it will be very cold in the evening for spectators and players alike. Perhaps more importantly, the sighting of the ball albeit pink is certainly a potential issue. As a Warwickshire member, I can tell others that e design adopted by Edgbaston for its floodlights is very inefficient, throwing large dark areas onto the field from the empty parts of the e in each group of floodlights. From my experience, the best light in the country currently, are at Trent Bridge.

  •   Belur Keshavaram on April 29, 2017, 13:32 GMT

    PINK BALL means Positive Imagine Night King Begin Always Love Live.

  • Nutcutlet on April 29, 2017, 13:00 GMT

    Cricfan***930: Playing conditions are down to the ICC appointed umpires. It is next to impossible for anyone not playing in the Test match to have a full appreciation of the conditions at any given moment, esp, if a fine drizzle is falling. The umps have to ensure that conditions are not likely to cause or contribute to an injury - and, in extremis, end a player's career (and thus his livelihood as a premier professional sportsman! ) As you have remarked, cricket is a potentially dangerous game anyway. Slippery conditions would make that very much more likely. A Test match is not a club game. As for four day Tests - that topic has already been broached in certain quarters - and whilst I cannot see any merit in limiting the number of overs per innings- having a minimum of, say, 100 overs per day is a possibility, with (I suggest) truncated intervals available for teams behind a stipulated over rate! Subtly, this would bring spinners more into the game. I am all in favour of that!

  •   cricfan69564930 on April 29, 2017, 12:57 GMT

    armchair,do you think the west indies can...firstly...bat long enough to get to the match end in every match they play in....and secondly....win every superover they play in...i think the windies are one of they most naturally attacking batting sides in test cricket and least likely to try your bat long theory...it is one of their attributes that often causes the infamous calypso collapso effect...because of their positivity when batting they are good to watch...i think india would fancy their chances of winning more games than they lost using your theory,plenty of bat long tenacity and little fast bowling threat to their opposition...the limiting of each team to 180 overs per 4 day test would reduce the likelyhood that negative batting would see a draw at the end of the last day...

  • armchair_critic007 on April 29, 2017, 12:05 GMT

    Supwr overs wont work. Teams likeWI will just play for a draw and then win the superover

  •   cricfan69564930 on April 29, 2017, 10:38 GMT

    nutcutlet...i went to the last test held in dunedin,nz and the fact that the players leave the field for drizzle coupled with dean elgar's negative batting spoiled any chance of a result when both teams had a chance to win it..i would rather see a four day test with both teams limited to a maximum of 180 overs for the match..and 4 day tests should start thursday and end sunday-and i know a super over might upset a few people,but the fact is test cricket crowds are dying and playing under lights will only work if the cricket is exciting to view..perhaps you can explain to me why cricketers will face a ball that can kill or maim them but won't play in rain....it is not as if plenty of fielding injuries don't already happen on lush or dry outfields....obviously the players would have to play to the conditions and use long spikes...i'm not suggesting going back to uncovered wickets,by all means cover them outside the hours of play...

  • cricfan84760521 on April 29, 2017, 8:54 GMT

    A single superover would make a nonsense of the previous 5 days play. Surely if draws were scrapped the winning team would be the side with the highest aggregate runs per wicket or something similar. No draws would reduce the drama of match winning performances by a bowler to claim a dramatic victory. Why not scrap the 5 days completely and just have one superover per side to determine the ashes.

  • Nutcutlet on April 29, 2017, 7:28 GMT

    Cricfan***102: Draws are often far from boring! If you knew your cricket to any significant depth, you wouldn't express the opinion you have here. The idea that there should be a 'super over' at the end of a drawn Test is beyond daft. If you intend to be a serious student of this game, please do some reading about it. You might also speak with some people with mature minds who know about the game. Until then, may I suggest you stick with following cricket in its primary colours: t20! It was formulated with people looking like you in mind.

  • Mohammad Asif on April 29, 2017, 6:06 GMT

    @CricketChat: Organising Day-Night test is costly. Plus, many ground doesn't have the facility of floodlight.

  • No featured comments at the moment.