JOE ROOT says the Third Test match should start at 10.30am if rain or bad light interrupts play.
Captain Root admitted he was as frustrated as everyone else by the lack of cricket in the drawn Second Test — at 134.3 overs, it was the shortest Test in England since 1987.
England captain Joe Root has called for an early start in Third Test after bad light frustration in draw with PakistanCredit: Getty Images
He would not like to switch from red ball to pink in mid-match to try to overcome bad light, which is one idea considered by the ICC.
Cricket chiefs here have been reluctant to make up time by adding 30 minutes to the start of the next day — even though that is what happens in overseas Tests.
It is believed communicating the switch to around 20,000 spectators could be difficult while many fans like to travel on cheaper, off-peak rail fares for an 11am start.
But with this summer’s matches behind closed doors and broadcasting personnel living in the bio-secure bubble at the Ageas Bowl, an earlier start is not a problem.
It is likely to happen in the match beginning on Friday.
Root said: “You don’t have to start every day at 10.30, but maybe it could be looked at if we need to make up time.
“Other things that perhaps could be considered are a minimum standard of floodlights and a lighter red ball instead of the darker Dukes we are using. But, as players, we have to do as we’re told.
“It’s been a huge talking point and it needs to be addressed somehow.
“I’ve never seen a game affected more by bad light. It’s hard to blame the umpires — it’s something that needs to be looked at farther up the chain.”
The ICC will consider changing the playing conditions for bad light after umpires Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough were widely criticised for taking off the players at tea on day two.
Around 40 overs were lost even though the floodlights were on and the Pakistan T20 squad was playing an intra-squad match on an adjoining ground without lights.
One solution could be to switch from red ball to pink if the light deteriorates — although many including Root think that is a bad idea.
When play on day five eventually started at 3.20, Zak Crawley reached a fluent half-century.
Root declared at 110-4 — the lowest total at which a team has declared in a Test in England — and the players shook hands.