Nottingham: England opener Alastair Cook believes the way in which floodlights were used against the West Indies in the first Test at Lord's could set an example to the rest of world cricket. Although there has been talk of day/night Test cricket, featuring pink balls, plans for such matches appear firmly stuck on the drawing board.
What has been possible for some time is for floodlight to be switched on during conventional hours of play in order to bolster fading natural light. Both boards must agree to the use of floodlights before a series gets underway and, on some occasions, teams can still go off for bad light when the rigs are switched on because of difficulties in sighting a red ball.
However, at Lord's the lights were on for much of the match, including nearly all the fourth day and Cook believed they played a key role in giving England enough time to claim a five-wicket win.
"We wouldn't have won that game without the lights," Cook said on Wednesday. "I think that fourth day was a prime example of why lights should be used in Test cricket. There's a good case for using them now. I don't think we'd have got much play (on day four), certainly not the 80 or 90-odd overs we got."
"It probably would've been hard to get a result because we wouldn't have got more than 30 or 40 overs in." Concerns have been raised by the difficulties of playing in twilight when natural light fades and the floodlights have yet to take full effect.
"There are occasions when it works to your disadvantage, like when it was pretty dark in the last 15-20 minutes when we had to go and face it," said Cook.
"But we were saying in the dressing room that if those lights weren't on we probably wouldn't have played much that day.
"I think for the crowd and the entertainment value we've got to try and get as much play as we can. It will work in your favour one day and on others you'll have to go and face four overs in not ideal conditions, but hopefully we'll benefit from that at some stage as well. I thought it was good for the game."
Issues regarding light have generally centred on the welfare of the batsmen but West Indies wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin said playing Tests under floodlights posed problems for a fielding side. "It was a bit challenging, sometimes in the background it was hard to pick the ball up," Ramdin said of his Lord's experience. "It's something to think about in future if it has to go on that late."
The second Test of a three-match series starts at Trent Bridge, which in common with Lord's has permanent floodlights, on Friday.