ECB approve use of floodlights for Ashes

Australia

The use of floodlights during the Ashes in Australia appears to have been approved, with the ECB finally relenting to the use of lights late in the day in order to maximise playing time and to ensure a result.

The use of floodlights during the Ashes in Australia appears to have been approved, with the ECB finally relenting to the use of lights late in the day in order to maximise playing time and to ensure a result.

England's top brass have refused to allow floodlights during Ashes matches in the past, despite Australia's use of them during home matches for the past decade. But now, after the fifth Ashes Test earlier this year saw England denied a win due to bad light, they have seemingly had a change of heart.

That Test saw the players taken off the field late on day five, with England needing only a few more runs to win. The umpires had to go with the previously used light meter limit, even though the batsmen insisted they were fine to play on.

Afterwards, both the ECB and Cricket Australia said they wanted to use floodlights during the series Down Under, despite the ECB refusing to use the technology in years past for Test in Australia.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said in October: "Umpires need to take into account safety issues, that's a priority, but ultimately we have to play more.

"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."

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