West Indies in England 2009 May 9, 2009

ECB defends Wednesday start for Tests

Cricinfo staff
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The ECB has defended its decision to host the first Test of the summer on a Wednesday and insist they have yet to receive a single complaint from the paying public. England beat West Indies by ten wickets inside three days yesterday, leaving Lord's unusually quiet on a Saturday, in what is normally one of the English summer's biggest sporting and social occasions.

Twenty-thousand ticket-holders who paid to see the fourth day at Lord's will now receive a full refund, as well as the chance to see one of two warm-up days of the ICC World Twenty20 at a 50% discount. In missing out on a Lord's Saturday, MCC have lost in the region of £200,000 in revenue.

"These 20,000 people now have an opportunity to come and watch some Twenty20 cricket at half price in addition to getting a full refund and we have had no complaints at all," an ECB spokesman told PA. "Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are becoming normal Test match start days for Test matches in England and Wales.

"This is not the first one to have started on a Wednesday nor will it be the last one.

"Test matches around the world start on different days and whatever day you start you can argue against it. If you start on a Friday people complain about the loss of corporate hospitality on a Thursday.

"The people who turned up to the first three days of the Test match are no doubt delighted about the fact they saw an England team which played attacking cricket and secured a resounding win."

The ECB announced that ticket-holders for Saturday will received a 50% discount for either June 1 or June 3 of the warm-up days of the World Twenty20. The warm-up matches are between Ireland and Netherlands and New Zealand versus India on June 1, or Sri Lanka and South Africa and England versus West Indies on June 3.