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PCB gives thumbs up to floodlit Test matches

Pakistan organised the country’s first official first-class match under lights that was played with an orange ball in January.

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has backed the idea of experimentation in Test cricket as the International Cricket Council (ICC) ponders over the prospect of having floodlit matches for the longest format.

The ICC’s cricket committee met in Lord’s yesterday to consider the future of day-night Tests along with discussions on the Decision Review System (DRS).

Feedback by the PCB and Cricket Australia (CA) as well as the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which has tested floodlit first-class matches, is supposed to play a vital role in finalising the decision.

And while the CA and MCC are yet to give a final response, the PCB has given a thumbs-up to the idea.

The Pakistan board created history earlier this year in January when it organised the first official day-night first-class match – the final of Quaid-i-Azam Trophy – that was played between Pakistan International Airlines and Habib Bank Limited at the National Stadium in Karachi.

The final, which was played with an orange ball after consulting both teams, failed to draw a sizeable crowd, however, was termed a success by the PCB.

“It was a successful experiment,” PCB Director Domestic Cricket Sultan Rana said. “We have sent a positive report to the ICC and the idea should be given a go- ahead at the top level.”

The official added that the report was made after feedbacks from the competing players, team managements and umpires who were assigned to make their assessment.

Rana, however, played down reports that spread after the match suggesting some players were unhappy with the experiment, citing weak sighting under lights as the main reason.

“We got mixed reactions from players but the majority of them backed the idea,” said Rana.

“It’s not possible to get the same point of view from all the players and the issues raised were not serious enough and can easily be resolved.”

Rana felt the idea will work in pulling a large number of spectators for Test matches.

“At the international level it may attract more spectators which would be a huge boost,” said Rana, also hinting at the prospect of PCB holding floodlit matches in the upcoming first-class season as well.