Officials at the ICC have taken the decision to value runs scored during the nighttime sessions of the opening day/night Test seasons as double in the official records.
After consulting with experts within the sport science department at Loughborough University and, following a detailed study of the ratio of runs scored in floodlight conditions, it was felt that a significant weighting needed to be applied to those batsman operating in the more difficult conditions.
Statistics from the past 7 years have shown that teams batting under the lights record an innings score 43% lower than those in daytime conditions.
“protecting the integrity of the Test records was at the centre of our thinking” said Terry Counter, chief rule adjustment strategist at the governing body. “Whilst it may appear like a heavy advantage, our detailed research shows that we’ll need to apply this formula in order to ensure that runs scored during these periods are valued on a similar playing field to those recorded over the past 150 years.
Some past players are thought to be concerned that highest score records are set to be shattered by this new ruling, with some fearing scores of 1000 plus will not be uncommon. “Its madness” said one former international, wishing to remain anonymous “I worked extremely hard to reach my scores of three figures” he explained. “To think that an innings of 50 will be judged in the same way is crazy”.
Sources close to the ICC suggest that this rule will only apply throughout the first 3 years of the new format. “It’s not something they’ll confirm, for fear of a runs binge during this period”, explained one representative “Chances are that the doubling of runs will return to normal after players have adjusted to the new conditions but the ICC are conscious of the importance of keeping the details close to their chest”.