Cook: Lights are vital for Test cricket

England batsman Alastair Cook believes the wider use of floodlights could be crucial to the future of Test cricket.


Although there is some enthusiasm at the International Cricket Council for day-night Test cricket with pink balls, that prospect is still in the experimental phase and some way off fruition. But the option of using floodlights to improve bad light during conventional hours of play has been available for some time.

The practice is not yet widespread, and relies on the agreement of both boards prior to the series, but Cook is fully behind the idea and thinks the lights at Lord's contributed to England's first Test victory over West Indies. "We wouldn't have won that game without the lights," Cook said.

The rigs were illuminated for much of the match - and virtually the entire fourth day - leaving England with more time to push for victory and spectators with more cricket for their money.

"I think that fourth day was a prime example of why lights should be used in Test cricket," Cook added.

"There's a good case for using them now. I don't think we'd have got much play (on day four), certainly not the 80 or 90-odd overs we got. It probably would've been hard to get a result because we wouldn't have got more than 30 or 40 overs in."

Those who are sceptical about the use of lights argue that there is a visibility issue as the natural light fades - the so-called 'twilight' period - making the ball harder to pick up for batsmen and fielders.

Cook admits it does cause a shift in the balance of the game but thinks the positives outweigh such negatives.

"There are occasions when it works to your disadvantage, like when it was pretty dark in the last 15-20 minutes when we had to go and face it," he said. "But we were saying in the dressing room that if those lights weren't on we probably wouldn't have played much that day.

"I think for the crowd and the entertainment value we've got to try and get as much play as we can. It will work in your favour one day and on others you'll have to go and face four overs in not ideal conditions, but hopefully we'll benefit from that at some stage as well."

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