The 10-match One-Day International NatWest Series begins at the County Ground in Bristol tomorrow night when West Indies play Zimbabwe in the UK's first day-night international cricket match.
The three day-night games, which take place at Bristol, Old Trafford and Edgbaston, will begin at 2.30pm. Day games begin at 10.45am
The NatWest Series matches will be shown live on Sky Sports, with highlights on Channel 4.
Teams will take two points for a match win, one for a tie or no result, and no points for a loss. In the event of teams finishing on equal points, the right to play in the Final will be decided by the team with the most wins in the Group Matches. When two teams have equal points and equal wins, the team which was the winner of the greater number of Group Matches played between them will be placed in the higher position. If still equal, the team with the higher net run rate in the Group matches will be placed in the higher position.
There will be no reserve days for the Group Matches. The Final, however, will have a reserve day.
Black stumps and bails will be used for the first time in this country.
Music will form an integral part of the entertainment package on offer at the games. Theme tunes have been chosen by each of the teams, which will be played as they take the field each time. West Indies have chosen 'Rally round the West Indies' by David Rudder, the Zimbabwean theme tune is 'Impi' by Johnny Clegg, and England have chosen 'One Vision' by Queen.
The music schedule will vary according to the match venue, but a broad cross-section of music will be used to cater for all tastes.
Manchester-based professional radio presenter, Mark Jones, will host on-pitch activities prior to the start of matches and during the interval. He will manage the inter-active crowd entertainment and competitions, from which the top prizes will be tickets to the NatWest Series Final at Lord's on Saturday 22 July.
Sky Sports will insert a 'spy camera' in the third umpire box. Viewers will see the third umpire looking at shots of various camera angles and will hear relevant discussions with the TV director, in order to promote greater understanding of the third umpire decision-making process. This coverage has been successfully piloted in domestic UK matches, but it is being introduced for the first time in international cricket.
For the first time, internet users throughout the world will be able to listen to live ECB commentary of international cricket on the ECB's web-site (www.ecb.co.uk), in association with CricInfo. The entire NatWest Series will be broadcast live on-line. The commentary team for the Bristol match will be made up of Tony Cozier, Jack Bannister, Jed Pitman and Ralph Dellor, with Colin Croft and Neil Foster as the expert summarisers. The line-up of the commentary team is likely to vary during the series. Details of other competitions, which will feature live on-line commentary, will be issued in due course.
Of the 10 NatWest Series matches, five are already sold out - the games at Lord's (x2), The Oval, Chester le Street (England v West Indies) and Trent Bridge.
Tickets are still available for the matches at Bristol, Canterbury,
Old Trafford, Chester le Street (West Indies v Zimbabwe) and Edgbaston.
Those interested should call the ticket hotline on 0990 338833.
For further information, please contact ECB Corporate Affairs on 020 7432 1200
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