England vs Pakistan: Revised start time for third Test
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), on Thursday, informed that the day's play could start at 10:30 AM, for the final Test between England and Pakistan at Southampton. Notably, the announcement comes after rain, as well as bad light, marred the second Test, which led to it being a draw. However, the final decision still rests with the ICC Match Referee Chris Broad.
The Test match normally starts at 11 AM in England, while the time that is lost gets accommodated towards the end of the day's play. However, in the case of bad light, the play has to be stopped, as seen in the second Test. This prompted the ICC and the ECB to add an extra thirty minutes at the start of the day's play.
If needed, the first session can cross the designated two-hour mark with a scheduled close at 6 PM (local time). There will also be a 30-minute extension in case the required overs are not bowled in a day or bad weather interrupts the play. Meanwhile, the play can be extended till 7 PM (local time) if any such uncertainty arises.
Usually, a standard day of Test match comprises three sessions of two hours each. Besides, a break for lunch and tea each is taken for 40 and 20 minutes respectively. However, the duration of sessions and intervals may be revised under certain circumstances.
According to revised timings, the morning session could be extended. "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," an ECB release read.
England won the series opener by three wickets, while the second Test was washed out. Interestingly, only 134.3 overs were bowled in the previous Test. Meanwhile, the two sides will lock horns in the final Test at the Ageas Bowl, starting August 21. While England eye yet another series victory, the visitors will aim for a 1-1 draw.