Pakistan v West Indies day-night Test: Figures to consider on ‘the future of Test cricket’

Paul Radley breaks down the numbers that tell the tale of the first day-night Test in the UAE when Pakistan and West Indies meet on Thursday in Dubai.

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The Dubai Test between Pakistan and West Indies, starting Thursday, will be the first day-night Test in the UAE, played using a pink ball under floodlights.

“The future of Test cricket is very heavily dependent on the success of day-night cricket,” said Usman Wahla, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s general manager of international cricket operations. “Because of how people’s lifestyles have changed around the world, getting the full day off work to come and watch cricket has become very, very difficult.”

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Here are the key figures to consider:


Start time is at 3.30pm, so play will likely go on past 10.30pm. It will feel weird, being a Test, but the players’ body clocks will be attuned. The timings are broadly similar to the one-dayers. “We have acclimatised well and the guys are sleeping properly as well, so hopefully we will give a very, very good showing,” West Indies’ Darren Bravo said.


Minutes. Rather than the standard 40-minute lunch interval and 20-minute tea break, there will be two intermissions between the three sessions of 30 minutes each. The first is scheduled to start at around 5.30pm, to coincide with the twilight before the sun sets at approximately 5.56pm.


Individual lights located within the stadium roof, which is known as the Ring of Fire floodlight system. No ground in the world is better for viewing the ball at night. “It is hard to spot the seam [on the pink ball] against the spinners, so it is a different challenge, but the more we play the better it will be,” said Azhar Ali, the Pakistan batsman.


The match will be the 400th Test for Pakistan. Of the 399 to date, they have won 128, lost 113, and drawn 158. “It is a day-night Test, which is the future of the game, but we also have the excitement of playing our 400th Test, which has given a whole new spin to this game,” Wahla said.​

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