Yorkshire set for day-nighter Championship match at Headingley

A general view of the sunset at Headingley during the Royal London One-Day Series between England and Pakistan on September 1. (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)
A general view of the sunset at Headingley during the Royal London One-Day Series between England and Pakistan on September 1. (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)
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Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur believes it would be a “great opportunity” to stage a ground-breaking day-night pink-ball fixture in the Specsavers County Championship at Headingley next season.

Following the England and Wales Cricket Board’s announcement that next summer’s Investec Test against West Indies at Edgbaston in August will be the first to be held under lights in this country, it was reported that a round of floodlit championship matches will be held to help Alastair Cook and his team-mates attune themselves to the new challenge.

Yorkshire is home to several of England’s Test stars, and therefore an obvious contender to host one of the matches.

The county confirmed on Friday it had been approached by the ECB to stage a day-night championship fixture, and “would willingly make the ground available for such an event.”

Arthur claims it is a challenge to be met head on, and one which could boost attendances during the extended sessions.

“Until the fixture programme is published we don’t know when it will be or who the opposition is likely to be, but because we have got the best lights in the country for cricket purposes, then it’s likely that we would be one of the selected grounds to host such an event,” Arthur said.

“It is a great opportunity for us. Certainly when we used the pink ball under the lights at the end of the season for the Mount Cricket Club v St Peter’s XI match, the new more fluorescent pink ball was far more spectator friendly than the one that we used out in Abu Dhabi for our pre-season match against the MCC.

“Hopefully when the fixture list comes out it is something that all members and stakeholders will save a date for in their diary.

“Whether you are a club cricketer or a member who works 9-5, you will be able to come along and watch two or three hours of Championship cricket after work and it will be very interesting to see what the uptake is on this initiative.”