Play can begin at 10.30am, half an hour early, during the thrid Test between England and Pakistan if time has been lost earlier in the match to rain or bad light.
The revised start times will come into effect during the final match of the three-Test series, starting at the Ageas Bowl on Friday. It follows discussions surrounding the second Test, at the same venue, which ended in a draw when poor weather meant only 134.3 overs were bowled for the match, the equivalent of less than one and a half days’ play of the scheduled five, although the match finished late on the fifth day.
Announcing the change on Thursday, the ECB said consideration would be given to having earlier start times during future Test series in England.
“Following positive discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board, (ECB) the International Cricket Council (ICC), led by Match Referee Chris Broad and various stakeholders including broadcast partners, the ECB and the ICC have agreed to revised start times ahead of the #raisethebat third Test starting on Friday at the Ageas Bowl,” the ECB said in a statement.
“The flexible approach will enable the prospect of making up time for inclement weather during the morning session of subsequent days rather than at the end of the day.
“The match officials will ensure that light is monitored to maximise playing time while it is still safe to do so. The safety of the players is still the number one priority for this protocol.”
The revised start times have been agreed with the captains and coaches of England and Pakistan.
Chris Silverwood, the England head coach, said on Wednesday there would be “no complaint from us” if play start times were brought forward by half an hour in the case of play being lost to bad weather.
If early start times are to be used, the ICC Match Referee, Groundstaff and the ECB Match Manager will meet to discuss the start times for the next day after the conclusion of play on the first day. If the forecast looks good for the next morning, there will be an option to commence play at 10.30am.
The final decision will be made by Broad as ICC Match Referee, who will confirm the revised playing times, with the most likely schedule being a 10.30am start with 98 overs to be bowled in the day and a 6.00pm scheduled close, going to 6.30pm for an extra 30 mins to bowl overs with a 7.00pm cut off for extra time for bad weather during the day. The morning session would last two and a half hours if the start time was adjusted.