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England coach Silverwood backs earlier Test match starts

AFP/London
Filed on August 19, 2020
Only 134.3 overs were sent down across five days in the second Test. (AP)

Silverwood said it had been tough going sitting around throughout most of the second Test

England coach Chris Silverwood says he is all for early starts to matches after bad light blighted the drawn second Test between England and Pakistan at Southampton.

Only 134.3 overs were sent down across five days in a match marred by rain delays as well as the spectacle of players being taken off the field for bad light even when the Ageas Bowl floodlights were in use.

Not since the same two teams met at Lord's in 1987, when 112.5 overs were bowled, has a Test in England been so badly affected by weather interruptions.

Silverwood, speaking ahead of Friday's third and final Test, also at the Ageas Bowl in a series England lead 1-0, said it would be possible to start at half past ten and not the usual 11 o'clock.

"It makes sense to me," he said on Wednesday.

"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."

"In my opinion it would be a good idea.

"I know there's chats around it and there will be no complaints from us if it happens.

"But I've had no official word it'll happen."

Silverwood had other ideas that could be considered such as a ball which is a lighter shade of red, floodlights, and glasses to help cricketers in fading light.

Silverwood, seeking to win his second series of the summer after beating the West Indies 2-1, said given the special circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic it made starting matches earlier easier to do.

"We're all here anyway," he said.

"We're all on the ground, so it wouldn't be very difficult to make it happen."

Silverwood, who took over the job from Trevor Bayliss when the latter left at the end of the 2019 season, said it had been tough going sitting around throughout most of the second Test.

"To have both sides - to have everyone, really - in the bubble sat around was hard work at times," said the 45-year-old former England pace bowler.

"You feel for everyone involved including the viewers at home hoping to watch some cricket.

"I felt for everyone that we were just here sat around twiddling our thumbs."

The International Cricket Council is set to discuss the issue of bad light at the next meeting of its cricket committee.

 


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