Image courtesy of: The Guardian
“We’ve got to keep playing, that’s our obligation to the public, and our umpires need to push the envelope and the players need to understand that we’re playing the game, we’re getting on with it”
After 15 long years, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have finally agreed to the use of floodlights in an Ashes series in Australia.
The move comes after both the ECB and Cricket Australia expressed their interest in ensuring the maximum number of playing hours are completed each and every day.
Australia have been using floodlights during Test matches since 1997, but the ECB have refused to use them during an Ashes series till as recently as 2010-11.
The ECB and Cricket Australia also believe that it is unfair on both the players and fans to constantly end play early due to bad light.
“Umpires need to take into account safety issues, that’s a priority, but ultimately we have to play more,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said. “If the ground’s a little bit slippery or the clouds happen to be coming over, you’ve got to keep playing. There are millions of people watching on TV, lots of people listening on the radio and heaps of people who paid good money to come into the ground.
“We’ve got to keep playing, that’s our obligation to the public, and our umpires need to push the envelope and the players need to understand that we’re playing the game, we’re getting on with it. Today it might be unfair to you, and it might be an unfortunate situation that you feel disadvantaged with, but the tide will turn and the next time it happens it may well be that it’s good for you.
“The broad principle is we need to play more and we’ve been pushing that with the ICC, and we’ve been in discussion with the ECB about this summer playing under artificial light. In previous Ashes series, there’s been no suggestion of playing under artificial light, when we’re off, we’re off. But we’ve been talking to the ECB about that and it’s just a matter of getting the playing conditions right and giving the umpires the terms of reference to use consistently.”