The WICB has decided to re-introduce day-night matches with the use of pink ball in their domestic first-class competition – the Regional 4-Day Tournament – for the upcoming season. The board had first carried out the experiment in 2009 to boost spectator interest that had been declining in the preceding years. Six of the 30 first-class matches in the upcoming season will be day-night matches, the WICB said in a release.
“The purpose of the re-introduction of day-night matches is two-fold,” Roland Holder, WICB manager, Cricket Operations, said after the regional governing body released fixtures for the first half of the season on Thursday. “First, it allows our elite players to familiarise themselves with the pink ball, and secondly, it allows for greater spectator attendance, as patrons can have a relaxing evening watching their favourite team.
“Each team has two matches – one home, one away – as gradually international boards begin to embrace this concept.”
Four of the six day-night matches, which will begin at 3pm daily, have been scheduled before the Christmas and New Year’s holiday break. Those four also include the opening-round fixture between Trinidad & Tobago and Windward Islands at the Queen’s Park Oval from November 11 to 14. Defending champions Guyana will feature in the second day-night match, against St Lucia in the third round from November 26 to 29. The last two day-night matches are scheduled for the second half of the tournament in 2017.
West Indies recently played their first day-night Test, against Pakistan, in front of empty stands in Dubai, where they lost by 56 runs. Their next Test with the pink ball is against England next summer at Edgbaston.