The stars are coming out for the first day/night round of fixtures in the Specsavers County Championship later this month.
In announcing the squad for England’s NatWest T20 International series against South Africa, the selectors have confirmed that several all-format players have been rested to allow them to gain experience of playing with the pink Dukes balls that will be used for the historic Investec Test against West Indies at Edgbaston in August.
That means England’s new Test captain Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow will both be available for Yorkshire’s Division One Championship fixture against Surrey at Headingley.
Jimmy Anderson is on course to make his comeback from a groin injury for Lancashire against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Andrew Strauss, the ECB’s director of England cricket, said: “The day-night round in the Specsavers County Championship was arranged partly to allow our England players the opportunity to gain some relevant experience ahead of the day-night Test at Edgbaston.
“But we also think it’s a concept that will boost the profile of the Championship, and hopefully the availability of so many of our England players to play for their counties will help in that regard.”
The day/night format for the round of Specsavers County Championship matches, and upcoming Investec Test match, follows a trial at Edgbaston in August 2016 when Warwickshire Second XI played Worcestershire Second XI in a Championship match.
The fixture trialled both the pink Dukes cricket ball in addition to the Kookaburra used in the other day/night Test matches played in Australia and the United Arab Emirates.
Feedback from the players and match officials were that the Dukes is the preferred pink ball to use in English conditions and it will be used in both the day/night Specsavers County Championship fixtures and Investec Test match.
Day/Night Investec Test Match
England’s inaugural Day/Night Investec Test match against West Indies start at Edgbaston on Thursday 17 August.
Tickets start from £26 for adults and from just £6 for under 16s.