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The Evolution of Floodlit Cricket


In August 1952, it is believed that the first match between Arsenal F.C. and Middlesex County Cricket Club under floodlights due to which floodlit cricket started to evolve. The match was held to gain some benefits. However, it was not the first match to be held for the sake of benefits between these two teams. In the summer season of 1951, floodlights were installed at Arsenal’s Highbury Ground. Thus, it was used for the very first time in a football match. The floodlights were turned on at the end of first innings as the match took place at 6:30 in the evening. Arsenal was batting on the first innings. There were around 7000 spectators for which a public announcement of keeping any eye on the ball was also made. The batsmen were also advised to keep the ball ball and do not hit big sixes. The match was watched by millions of viewers through British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that was the only channel through it was broadcasted.

The Evolution of Floodlit Cricket

The Evolution of Floodlit Cricket
The Evolution of Floodlit Cricket

However, a British newspaper The Times did consider the floodlit cricket as a viable concept due to which many people had agreed to the objection and therefore, the benefit of Jack Young went off. Kerry Packer in 1977 successfully attempted to bring together 50 world-class cricketers in World Series Cricket from all over the world. Since, the concept of floodlit cricket comes to fore. As the initial attendance of the test matches was very low, Packer decided to move on from supertests to One Day International which needs to be played under floodlights.

The attendance of the test matches was roughly around 2000 spectators but when the floodlit cricket matches were moved to One Day International (ODI) format, then an enormous increase in the size of attendance was witnessed which turned to be 44,377 spectators. However, the floodlit test cricket was played between Westin Indies and Australia in Melbourne at VFL park. Later on, the ODI cricket matches were also held between the two same sides for which we have seen a remarkable increase in the total number of spectators. The World Series Cricket also received a large opposition as the series does not host test matches and nor the matches were given a first-class cricket status. The 1979 agreement between Packer and Australian Cricket Board has successfully ended the World Series cricket. Although, floodlit cricket still attracted people from all walks of the life. As a result, the first Floodlit One Day International match was played by the two national cricket teams of Australia and West Indies.

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Hence, floodlit cricket was not only played in Australia, but it was also being featured by West Indies, South Africa and alongside the sub-continent. It was only that has been a continuous critic from the very beginning because of primary reason that England has a bad climate which further makes the application as the cricket players would not be able to play the game effectively due to bad lightening.

The twilight in South Africa and Australia is minimal and the light fades quickly in both the countries. When it comes to long English evenings, then it implies that floodlights could be only be used for the last hour of the cricket match or so. Due to increased chances of rain, both English and Whales Cricket board heavily spent on permanent lights where rain would always stop the play anyway.

If we talk about present scenario of Floodlit or Day and Night Cricket, then we may conclude that floodlit cricket is now being widely in the world of cricket especially in Twenty20 and One Day International. All of the matches of 2014 ICC World Twenty20 championship were day and night cricket matches and so does the 2011 World Cup.

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