The historic first day and night Test being played here at Edgbaston from today against the West Indies is another landmark in the English cricket history. For both the England and Wales Cricket Board and the England group, it is a jump into the obscure.
In 137 years since the first time a Test was played in England in 1880 at The Oval and the first Ashes Test in 1884 at Old Trafford, this day-night Test is a kind of a preamble for England, who are scheduled to play in Australia during the Ashes series starting this November.
There have been four previous day-night Tests, three in Australia and one in the UAE. The format is being trialed by the ICC and various national boards as an attempt to address the problem of falling attendances at Test matches. Day-night Tests, so the thinking goes, allow spectators to come in after work so they do not have to take time off to see the game. With people leading increasingly busy lives, an evening can be spared much easier than a whole day.
The first of a three-match campaign starts at Edgbaston on Thursday with the inaugural day/night Test in England.