Day/Night cricket

Day/Night cricket

Floodlit (day/night) Cricket is cricket played under floodlights at night. The use of floodlights in cricket matches has helped to bring much investment into the game both at a national and an international level since it began in 1977. Today Floodlit (day/night) cricket is played in most of the test playing nations although some nations have only started hosting day/night matches in the last 10 to 12 years.

Beginnings of floodlit cricket

Floodlit cricket began in Australia when Kerry Packer organised the World Series Cricket competition in the late 1970s for his television company Nine Network. On 27th November 1977 the very first day/night match was played at Adelaide between WSC Australia and the WSC West Indies, a match in which the WSC West Indies won batting under the floodlights. Very quickly day/night cricket went from strength to strength and even when the WSC ended in 1979 Australia started playing official ODI's under floodlights and by 1985 most ODI's in Australia were being played under lights at night.

Day/Night cricket in England & Wales 1997-1999

Day/Night cricket has been played in England and Wales since July 1997. Since than it has become a major part in the English cricket season with Day/Night matches played in the NatWest Pro40 League (40 overs), the main competition in which day/night cricket is played alongside day matches but also floodlit matches are played in the Twenty20 Cup (20 overs) and in the Friends Provident Trophy (50 overs) although only grounds which have paramount floodlights and the final of the Twenty20 Cup are day/night matches staged in these competitions. Also England have hosted day/night ODI's (50 overs) at various grounds around England and Wales every season since 2000.

Day/Night cricket in England and Wales started in 1997 when three counties Surrey, Sussex and Warwickshire took the brave step of deciding to each stage one home fixture from the than known AXA Life Sunday League using temporary floodlights. The first official day/night match was due to take place at the Oval on June 26th 1997 between Surrey and Nottinghamshire however the match was sadly abandoned due to rain without a ball bowled and so the honour of staging the first day/night cricket match in England & Wales then fell to Edgbaston who on July 23rd 1997 successfully staged a match between Warwickshire and Somerset in front of 7,000 people, a match which Warwickshire won. Sussex successfully staged their first day/night match a month later at Hove against Surrey, a match which Surrey won by 5 wickets in front of a crowd of 4,000 people.

In 1998 after the success of the previous season seven counties Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire and Yorkshire staged day/night matches with a total of 11 played (up 8 on 1997) under lights, with Warwickshire taking the decision of playing four home matches under lights and Lancahire staging two home matches at Old Trafford, who along with Trent Bridge, Bristol and Headlingley and The Oval who were successful on their second attempt each played one home game under lights for the very first time were the other highlights. By the 1999 season it became official that Day/Night Cricket was here to stay when Sussex became the first county to install paramount floodlights at their county ground in Hove. Also the advent of the new formed 2 division National League allowed for Day/Night matches to became a major part of the competition. In 1999 more counties came into line with eleven counties staging games including for the first time Durham, Leicestershire, Somerset and Worcestershire who along with the other seven counties who had hosted day/night matches in the previous two seasons played a total of 20 matches, up 8 on 1998.

Day/Night Cricket in England & Wales 2000-2005

By 2000 Day/Night Cricket had became a fact of life on the County Cricket scene. In 2000 the First One Day International day/night match in England was played under lights at Bristol and also the England Under 19 team also hosted its first day/night match a few weeks later at Hove. Also Derbyshire, Glamorgan and Northamptonshire staged their first home matches under lights. In 2001 Hampshire and Kent staged their first home day/night matches has did Essex however their first floodlit match was staged at Colchester which as of 2008 is the only out ground in England & Wales to have staged official day/night matches. By 2002 all but one (Middlesex) of the first class counties had staged a National League game under lights at their county grounds.

From 1997 to 2002 Day/Night cricket between the First Class Counties was only played in the Sunday/National League however in 2003 Day/Night Cricket in England and Wales took its next major turn. In May 2003 Essex became the second county to install paramount floodlights at their ground in Chelmsford who until than had staged all of their floodlit matches at Colchester. In June 2003 the Twenty20 Cup kicked off with Essex and Sussex deciding to each play 2 of their home matches under their lights. No other counties staged group matches under lights. This was the first time that Day/Night Cricket in England had been played between any two counties outside of the National League and on July 19th 2003 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham Surrey Lions won not only the Twenty20 Cup for the first time but also won the very first domestic cup final to be decided under floodlights. In 2004 Derbyshire became the third County to install paramount floodlights at their ground in Derby and also the number of day/night games in the Twenty20 Cup in that year increased to 6 matches, up 1 from 2003. Again apart from the final and the three counties who owned paramount floodlights at that time no other county staged matches under lights. In 2005 the Twenty20 Cup expended from 51 matches to 79 matches and this caused another increase in the number of day/night games from six matches to ten. Helped in part by Glamorgan who in the same year became the fourth county to install paramount floodlights at their county ground in Cardiff, once again in 2005 day/night matches in the Twenty20 Cup were limited to the final and the four counties that owned paramount floodlights.

Day/Night Cricket in England & Wales 2006-

In 2006 One Day Cricket in England was given a major revamp by the ECB. This led to quite a few changes for Day/Night Cricket in England. For the first time Day/Night matches were played in the than known C&G Trophy although as in the Twenty20 Cup matches were limited to the counties who owned paramount floodlights who were joined by Hampshire in becoming the fifth county to install paramount floodlights at the Rose Bowl. Also 2006 saw the lunch of the NatWest Pro40 League which replaced the National League however under the new format the counties only played other once in their divisions as opposed to home and away. This meant that the number of day/night matches played in the competition was reduced because the counties had fewer home matches to play with. The story stayed the same for 2007 but for one thing. On September 10th 2007, ten years after the first day/night matches were played in England Lord's finally got to stage its first game under floodlights with a match between Middlesex and Derbyshire, a match which Middlesex won by 4 wickets.

In the 2008 Season a total of 55 cricket matches will be played under floodlights in England and Wales, seven in the Friends Provident Trophy, nineteen in the Twenty20 Cup, twenty three in the NatWest Pro40 League and 2 matches in the Twenty20 Floodlit Cup. Also England will play three One Day Internationals under lights at Cardiff, Headingley and at Trent Bridge which will also became the sixth ground in England & Wales to have paramount floodlights and the England Under 19 Team will play one match under lights at Hove and Lord's will stage its second floodlit match in August.

ODI Day/Night Cricket in England & Wales

One Day International Day/Night Cricket has been played in England since 2000 however its development in England and Wales has been very limited because until 2005 none of England’s One Day Grounds had paramount floodlights and so temporary lights had to be used. The very first One Day International to be played under floodlights in England was on July 6th 2000 between Zimababwe and the West Indies in front of 7,000 people at Gloucestershire’s County Ground at Bristol, a match which the West Indies won by six wickets. England played their first home match under lights a week later at Trent Bridge, a match in which they romped to victory against Zimababwe and the match was over at 7.30pm and the lights were barely needed. In 2006 Glamorgan’s County Ground in Cardiff staged the first ODI Day/Night match to be played in Wales and also became the first ODI in England and Wales to be played under paramount floodlights. Since 2000 there has never been more than three ODI’s played under lights in England and Wales in the same year however in 2009 England will host four day/night ODI's against Australia which marks the first increase in the number of ODI's to be played in England under floodlights due to Trent Bridge installing paramount floodlights. As of May 2008 only two of England one day grounds have paramount floodlights, the Rose Bowl and Cardiff however Trent Bridge will become the third in August 2008 and when day/night matches are held away from these grounds temporary lights have to be used.

In the 2008 Season England will play three One Day Internationals under lights at home against South Africa at Cardiff and Headingley and Trent Bridge.

In the following is a list of the Grounds in England and Wales that have staged Day/Night ODI’s since 2000

Grounds & Floodlights

As of 2008 only a third of the eighteen first-class counties in the whole of England and Wales have Paramount Floodlights at their home grounds. Because of this the other counties have to use temporary floodlights which are brought in by road when they stage their floodlit macthes at home and because of this (As well as the cost) most, especially the smaller counties only host one floodlit match per year in the NatWest Pro40 League and apart from their home Twenty20 Cup matches it is often seen as the main event of the cricketing season at their grounds with higher than average attendances often recorded depending that the weather is fair.

In August 2008 Nottinghamshire will become the sixth county in England and Wales to use paramount floodlights at their county ground which for the first time will be used in a ODI between England and South Africa.

In the following is a list of the County Grounds which have paramount floodlights along with the year in which they were installed.

Day/Night Match Timings

Over the years match timings for Day/Night Games in both theSunday/National League and the Twenty20 Cup has changed. In July 1997 in the very first day/night match at Edgbaston play did not start on that night until 6.10pm with play not finishing until 11.30pm which brought about complaints from locals. These days matches apart from the Twenty20 Cup start in the mid to late Afternoon at either 2.30pm for Friends Provident Trophy and One Day International matches with Pro40 matches starting a bit later at 4.40pm with matches finishing at around 10.15pm to 10.20pm. Day/NightTwenty20 Cup match start and finish times has also changed over the last few years. In 2003 matches started at 7.30pm and finished at 10.15pm. In 2006 timings were brought forward with the matches starting at 7pm with the match finishing at 9.45pm.

Here are the match timings for the 2008 Season.

All Timings are BST

NatWest Pro40 League (40 overs)
1st Innings: 4.40pm - 7.20pm,Interval: 7.20pm - 7.40pm,2nd Innings: 7.40pm - 10.20pm

Friends Provident Trophy (50 overs)
1st Innings: 2.30pm - 6.00pm,Interval: 6.00pm - 6.45pm,2nd Innings: 6.45pm - 10.15pm

Twenty20 Cup (20 overs) (Group Stage & Quarter-Finals)
1st Innings: 7.00pm - 8.15pm,Interval: 8.15pm - 8.30pm,2nd Innings: 8.30pm - 9.45pm

Twenty20 Cup Final
1st Innings: 7.15pm - 8.30pm,Interval: 8.30pm - 8.45pm,2nd Innings: 8.45pm - 10.00pm

One Day Internationals (50 overs)
1st Innings: 2.30pm - 6.00pm,Interval: 6.00pm - 6.45pm,2nd Innings: 6.45pm - 10.15pm

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