England head coach supports earlier start times for third Test

ISLAMABAD, Aug 20 (APP):England head coach Chris Silverwood would support earlier start times in order to avoid further negative fallout following the weather-affected drawn second Test against Pakistan.

“It makes sense to me,” he said, as quoted by BBC Sports.

“We have a period at the start of the day we could use, but we try to lump it at the end when light is an issue.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is considering its options after criticism over the amount of time lost because of bad weather and poor light.

Play in the third Test, at the same Ageas Bowl venue as the second, is scheduled to begin at 11:00 BST on Friday – but 10:30 start times are being considered, if necessary.

The ECB has the option to be more flexible with start times as there are no security and safety issues with admitting fans, because the series is being played behind closed doors under restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Only a day and a half’s play was possible over five days in Southampton as the second Test ended in a draw on Monday, with bad light and rain to blame.

Silverwood also suggested a ball which is a lighter shade of red, floodlights and even glasses to help cricketers in fading light could be considered.

While 11:00 start times are standard for first-class games in England, County Championship matches usually start half-an-hour earlier in September as the early evenings get darker.

England captain Joe Root said on Monday that the issue “needs to be addressed”, while former skipper Michael Vaughan suggested that the International Cricket Council (ICC) – the world governing body – also needed to get involved, telling BBC Sport: “It’s not a good look when so much money has been pumped into Test matches.

“It’s becoming annoying for everyone involved. The ICC needs to look at what’s happening here.

“If it means playing with the pink ball because of the light issue in England, then do that. If it means players stay out longer, the protocols for umpires has to change, then do that.”

England lead the three-match series 1-0.