The Essex County Ground will host a historic moment in County Championship during the 2017 as Essex welcome Middlesex for a day/night match in June.
Chelmsford was chosen along with nine other grounds to trial the match, which will all start on Monday 26 June and played with pink Dukes balls.
The announcement of a full round of floodlit four-day games breaks new ground for the County Championship, which has only featured one previous day/night match – a trial game between Kent and Glamorgan at Canterbury in 2011.
The move is designed to help broaden the audience for the four-day game and also give England players an opportunity to experience the conditions ahead of another slice of history later in the 2017 summer – Edgbaston hosting this country’s first ever day/night Test Match between England and West Indies (August 17-21).
It means that 10 of the 18 first-class counties will stage day/night fixtures with pink balls next summer, as West Indies will have their chance to prepare for the Investec Test Match at Edgbaston in a three-day match against Derbyshire from August 11-13.
“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 Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive officer.
“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.”
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