What’s it like to attend a day-night test in England?

Edgbaston (via Channel 5)

England are playing the West Indies at Edgbaston in the first day-night Test match in this country. Everyone’s been wondering what the experience would be like for the fans.

We’ve had a handful of early reports and we’ll add any more we get to this page.

Day one attendee, Tom

1) Until it got dark, I simply thought it was just three hours earlier than it was.
2) Patrons of the Hollies stand turned up drunk and got drunker. Watching and listening to them throughout the day – from a safe distance away in the South Lower – was as entertaining as the cricket at times.

I wish I could go tomorrow.

Day one attendee, Ged

We had an enormous picnic hamper of sandwiches and goodies for our group of six. But, despite the fact that play started at 2pm  and no-one had eaten since breakfast, we still did that “hold off for the first hour of play” thing, because that’s what we do.

Just before the start of the final session, the soprano who had sung Jerusalem at the start of the match sang Nessun Dorma to commemorate the first day/night Test match in the UK. The meaning of Nessun Dorma made the choice especially strange to me; “none shall sleep”. Is that an order from the WCCC Committee?

There was a lot of Eric Hollies Stand business, not least a long conga line led by Mr Blobby, which looked quite splendid from the safety of the Raglan Stand opposite. I don’t think this had anything to do with the day/nightness of the occasion.

One of our party decided that session three was a two-trouser occasion and donned a second pair just before the Nessun Dorma.

Day two attendee, Sam

We got to the ground early. The bars were already heaving. There were many more food stalls than usual. I quipped that it was like a food festival with a cricket match on the side.

From the start, the pink ball was easier to see from the crowd than the red ball. That was a good thing.

The lights came on before tea as a thick black cloud rolled in. The rain we had been expecting all day arrived with gusto at about 7pm.

The Hollies stand was typically raucous. But overall it was a bit of a flat day.

What I took away from it was this. You can add all the bells and whistles you like – floodlights, pink balls, hashtags, re-useable beer glasses – but if the cricket isn’t compelling, something is missing.

I got the sense many spectators weren’t completely tuned in to the action because there was no contest.

I enjoyed my day/night experience, but it would be nice to have stronger opposition next time.

Day three attendee, David

Going off for rain after one ball wasn’t a great start but because it was already 1.30pm we didn’t feel so bad getting a beer.

The biggest issues were that the late start played havoc with picnic habits that have been developed and refined over many years (do we still have sandwiches at “lunch” or a Mr Kipling fruit pie at 4pm?) followed by poor batting from the Windies and deciding whether a collection of Donald Trumps in the Hollies was ironically funny or politically worrisome.

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20 Appeals

    • Hi Mike. I spent the day in traffic on the M5. But at least I was warm and sheltered. Hope you’ve had a good day.

  1. West Indies’ Hopes have gone…

    • Indeed. As Howe_zat would say, their Hopes have gone. They are Hope-less.

      • The Windies were relying on Hope rather than expectation.

        A little disappointing that there was no chant of “one Hope, there’s only one Hope…”

  2. Erm, yes. As you also said, AP. Excuse me, I’m very cold and drunk. Which appears to be a recipe for repetition. Repetition. A recipe. For repetition.

    • There are still at least 2.5 hrs left. It feels so much later than it is. Most people in the crowd appear to have reached post-drunk status and it’s absolutely freezing. It could be a busy night for the paramedics…

      • A little photo gallery courtesy of Daisy taken around 8:00 pm at the back of the Eric Hollies will follow (probably tomorrow) and will confirm or deny your version of events, there,Mike.

  3. There’s something about the rhythm and undulations of a tight match that really defines the feeling of Test cricket for me – twists and turns and timescale that no other sport can match.

    This summer it seems there may not be a single one.

  4. Just when I thought the debate about the physicality of the pink ball would never end, apparently it’s all down to grease, then. The dark art of pink ball manufacturing culminates in a bloke chucking said ball on the concrete floor of a garage and realising that applying axle grease to pink balls changes the colour. This can’t be right. Saddle soap? Briwax?

  5. All things considered, this is one of the most one-sided Test matches I can remember.

  6. Ian Bell resigns.

    • …as in, stands down.

      He hasn’t subscribed contractually to a further three years or anything.

      Surely the editorial stance at KC on this matter is indifference?

  7. Truly an historic match. The first time two brothers have each been dismissed twice in one day in tests.

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