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ECB announces first round of floodlit matches in upcoming season of County Championship

Edgbaston will host the first ever day-night Test for England in 2017
Edgbaston will host the first ever day-night Test for England in 2017
©REUTERS / Action Images

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have announced the fixtures for the 2017 season of the Specsavers County Championship 2017 season which will see the day-night matches in the complete first round.

Essex, Hampshire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire in Divison One while Durham, Glamorgan, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Sussex in Division Two will get the opportunity to host the day-night matches which kicks start on 26th June.

The last time a floodlit county game was played way back in 2011 when Kent and Glamorgan locked horns in Canterbury.

With Edgbaston set to host the first ever day-night Test in United Kingdom against West Indies in August 2017, the ECB wants the English players to get a feel of the conditions in the first round of the championship which will be played with pink Duke balls.

Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive officer, believes with increasing popularity to day-night Tests, it is vital for the players to be given as many chances to experience the conditions at the first-class level.

“We were excited to announce a few weeks ago that Edgbaston will be staging an historic day/night Test, and it’s great that the counties, and the Specsavers County Championship, can also get involved,” said Harrison.

“It was important for us to arrange a full round of fixtures to give our England players the chance to experience the conditions. But just as we wanted to assess the impact of making Test cricket more accessible by changing the hours of play, the counties have really embraced the potential of Championship matches that stretch well into the evening when people have finished school or work.

“The early indications from Edgbaston are that day-night Test cricket is proving very popular, and hopefully it will be the same for the Specsavers County Championship now the fixtures are confirmed. There are some really attractive matches in the day/night round, and it will be fascinating to see how it works out.”

The 2017 season will get underway on 7th April with matches to be played on Friday allowing significant amount of matches in weekend.

ECB has also announced the fixtures for the Royal London One-Day Cup which will begin on 27th April and the final will be played on 1st July.

There has been change of schedule in the Natwest T20 Blast as well as it will begin on 7th July and will be played in the next seven weeks rather than a spread of three months as done previously.

© Cricket World 2016