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'Play can continue a bit longer' - Waqar Younis weighs in on bad light debate
Bad Light Issue

'Play can continue a bit longer' - Waqar Younis weighs in on bad light debate

Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis has suggested allowing teams to continue to play longer until natural light deteriorates rapidly after the second Test against England was disrupted by bad light.

The Southampton encounter finally ended in a predictable draw on Monday with England opting to declare their first innings at 110-4 in response to Pakistan's 236.

A total of 134.3 overs were bowled in the entire Test as play was frequently subjected to stoppages due to bad light and extended rain delays.

While wet weather can certainly be deemed out of the control of the officials, the issue of bad light at a ground where floodlights are in use seems a bit absurd.

Some observers have advocated for switching to the pink ball in such scenarios to aid the visibility of the players involved while Waqar has asked for greater flexibility from the umpires.

"I feel unless light gets really bad, we can stay out there a bit longer," he said.

"But I'm generally in favour of changing as little in Test cricket as possible," he added.

"It's the oldest and most traditional format. What we need to be careful of is what kind of cricket ball is used."

Waqar agreed that using the pink ball was the most viable option heading into the future to maximise the popularity of Test cricket but felt it needed further experiments in England before becoming the norm.

"I don't yet know how a Dukes pink ball is going to behave in this country. If conditions are overcast and the lights are on, maybe it'll do too much. It can work, but we'd need further trials in England."

Meanwhile, England captain Joe Root sympathised with on-field umpires Richard Kettleborough and Michael Gough for having to strictly follow the regulations.

However, he advocated for a change in the rules from the top in order to prevent more games being ruined by bad light.

"I think it's hard to blame the umpires here. There's something bigger that needs looking at higher up the chain."

"I think it needs to be addressed somewhere, somehow. I don't think I've ever seen a game be affected by bad light as much as this. I'm not exactly sure what the answers are, to be honest.

"But until those things change from the ICC (International Cricket Council), the umpires have to follow the rules in front of them and as players, we have to do as we are told."