SOUTHAMPTON: Nasser Hussain has called on cricket to adopt a new ‘mindset’ after bad light blighted the drawn second Test between England and Pakistan at Southampton.

Only 134.3 overs were sent down across five days in a match marred by rain delays as well as the spectacle of players being taken off the field for bad light even when the Ageas Bowl floodlights were in use.

Not since the same two teams met at Lord’s in 1987, when 112.5 overs were bowled, has a Test in England been so badly affected by weather.

Umpires Richard Kettle­borough and Michael Gough were widely criticised for their strict interpretation of the light regulations, with former England captain Hussain telling Sky Sports: “Merely because conditions are not ideal, merely because the red ball is not picked up as well, is not a reason to walk off the field.”

The ICC is now set to discuss the issue of bad light at the next meeting of its cricket committee.

Among the suggestions it could consider are allowing more play under floodlights and greater use of pink ball.

Reports have suggested the ECB may be about to follow other nations by opting for earlier start times in mat­ches affected by bad light.

“These are unusual tim­es,” said Hussain. “When you have an opportunity to play and the world is watching, do everything you can to stay on.

“We cannot have the old mindset of doing everything you can to go off,” said Hussain. “We can’t afford to lose spectators that are desperate for cricket.”

Meanwhile, Australia great Shane Warne called for the pink ball to be developed to a point where it could be used for all Test cricket. “The crowd will see it better; I think we will stay out there longer,” he said.

But Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, in a column for PCB website, was skeptical.

“The pink ball is very different to the red ball and I’m not sure that using it for a whole match — in daylight — is a good idea,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2020

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