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England’s Test captain, Joe Root, believes the issue of bad light “needs to be addressed” so the game can avoid the farcical scenes witnessed at the Ageas Bowl in recent days.

Only 134.3 overs were possible in the second Test – 38.1 of them on the final day – as a combination of bad light and conditions deemed too wet to play conspired to ruin any chance of either England or Pakistan pushing for victory. Only eight Tests in England or Wales in which any play has been possible have been worse hit by such conditions; all but one were not five-day encounters.

That left Root calling for a variety of “different things that could be trialled” to avoid such examples in the future. Among the measures Root suggested was earlier start times, the use of a brighter ball and improved floodlights to ensure play could continue regardless of the light.

ALSO READ: Crawley makes most of chance as second Test ends in draw

But he cautioned against expecting a change to start times ahead of the final Test of this series, which is scheduled to begin on the same ground on Friday, arguing that agreements had been made with Pakistan ahead of the series and it may be too late to change them.

“Maybe we could start half-an-hour earlier if we’ve lost time,” Root said. “You don’t necessarily have to start every game at 10.30am, but maybe if you need to make time up that is something to look at so light isn’t as much of an issue. It’s something to look at. It may be a possibility.

“There an MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] that’s been put in place [ahead of this series], so I’m not sure how flexible things are to change. But moving forwards, it is something that could potentially be looked at beyond this series.

“Maybe there’s got to be a minimum standard of floodlights and [we should] play on throughout. Maybe we could use a lighter red ball rather than a dark Dukes ball.

“There are different things that could be trialled to avoid similar scenarios in future. It’s not very often you lose so much cricket to bad light, but it’s frustrating and a huge talking point. I think it needs to be addressed somewhere, somehow.”

At present, every day of Test cricket in England starts at 11am regardless of the amount of overs lost in the game. The ECB has, in the past, argued that to change the start time at short notice – such as the evening before – could leave ticket holders missing the start of play. There have also been concerns expressed at the help an earlier start might provide to seamers able to exploit any dew or other moisture in the pitch or wider environment.

Many of Root’s concerns were echoed by the Pakistan bowling coach, Waqar Younis, who also called for more trials into measures that could mitigate against the problem of bad light.

“Worldwide the pink ball is only really being played with on a trial basis as we see if we run into problems,” Waqar said. “In day-night matches, there is strong evidence to suggest the pink ball could work, but in England, only one pink-ball Test has happened.

“I don’t yet know how a pink Dukes ball is going to behave in this country. If conditions are overcast and the lights are on, maybe it’ll do too much. The toss becomes very important.

“Purely for revenue and entertainment, it’s a promising idea, but everyone will need to adapt. We need to see more pink-ball use in domestic cricket in England to get the full picture. We need further trials in England.

“I feel unless the light gets really bad, we can stay out there a bit longer.”

Root, meanwhile, said he had sympathy both for the match officials and groundstaff and suggested it was an issue which needed to be addressed “higher up the chain”. ESPNcricinfo understands the ICC cricket committee will review issues around bad light at their next meeting.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game be affected by bad light as much as this,” Root said. “Which is very frustrating. But it’s been very wet throughout the week and the ground staff have done everything they can to get it dry.

“I do think it’s hard to blame the umpires here. I think there’s something bigger that needs looking up higher up the chain. This is way above my pay grade.”

Root also provided some insight into the challenges posed by playing in poor light, suggesting safety was only one of the aspects to consider.

“There’s an element of danger that comes into it,” he said. “Sometimes when you are facing someone really quick it can feel a little bit more dangerous.

“But sometimes with the bat in hand, if I’m brutally honest, it becomes more challenging [in poor light]. It can be quite hard trying to pick which way a bowler is looking to swing it or you might be trying to spot a googly from a legspinner. That can be frustrating at times.

“But it’s the field, square of the wicket, where you feel most vulnerable. You don’t want to be at fault, running in the wrong direction or missing a big chance. Similarly, the umpires might feel in danger as well if someone crunches a pull shot or hits one straight back at them. They have also got to be able to see and make the right decisions on the field.”

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Neetu David to lead new Indian women’s selection committee

Neetu David, the former India left-arm spinner, has been appointed as the chairperson of the new women’s national selection panel, with former cricketers V Kalpana, Arati Vaidya, Mithu Mukherjee and Renu Margrate the others in the panel.

ESPNcricinfo understands that no clear tenure has been defined for the new selectors yet, but their first assignment would likely be to select the squads for the upcoming three-team Women’s T20 Challenge, slated to be held from November 1-10 in the UAE alongside the IPL 2020 playoffs.

The BCCI had put out an advertisement on their website inviting applications in January. In it, while the criteria were listed – the age limit was 60, international playing experience was mandatory, and the candidates should have been retired for at least five years – no details of the tenure of the new appointments were provided, and there was no update in the board statement issued on Saturday.

It, however, remains unclear as to who selected the new selectors.

According to the board’s constitution, the Apex Council is required to direct the BCCI to choose the selectors, and then the panel is “to be appointed by the BCCI at the Annual General Meeting [AGM], on such terms and conditions as may be decided by the Apex Council from time to time”. In the case of the latest appointments, it’s worth noting that the BCCI had postponed its September 30 AGM indefinitely because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In late July, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had told ESPNcricinfo that the board “will start making the appointments [in due course of time]” because there was no cricket on, and the lockdown had meant no proper meetings at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.

“It is going to take some time because this needs following of protocol as interviews will need to be taken by a committee as per the BCCI’s new constitution, and this will have to be cleared by them, and it’s very difficult to do it without a face-to-face meeting,” he had said. “Since there is no women’s cricket at the moment till October, I think we will get it done before that.”

Central zone’s David was appointed the chief of the panel on account of her seniority over Kalpana (south), Vaidya (west), Mukherjee (east) and Margrate (north), the usual rule with such appointments.

David, arguably the best female spinner to have played for India, took 182 wickets in her international career, 41 in ten Tests and 141 in 97 ODIs, between 1995 and 2008. She continues to hold the world record for the best innings figures in women’s Test history, her 8 for 53 against England in Jamshedpur in November 1995 still the only instance of a woman picking up eight wickets in a Test innings.

The previous selection panel, led by Hemlata Kala, was handed an extension in October last year and officially finished its term on January 22, after the final of the quadrangular series featuring India A, India B, Thailand and Bangladesh in Patna. Members of the panel, though, were in Australia for the T20 World Cup in February-March.

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Pavelski Ties Game in 3rd, Stars fall in Game 4 in OT

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No U.S.-born player has scored more playoff goals than Joe Pavelski. No player has put more pucks in the net during a single postseason this late in his career.

That may not be enough for Pavelski and the Dallas Stars, who are in a deep, deep hole in the Stanley Cup Final.

Pavelski scored twice, including the tying goal midway through the third period, but the Stars lost 5-4 when Tampa Bay scored on a power play 6:34 into overtime of Game 4 on Friday night inside the NHL bubble in Edmonton. The Lightning have a 3-1 series lead.

Tampa Bay’s third power-play goal of the game was set up after a disputable tripping penalty called against Stars captain Jamie Benn.

“I disagree with the call, but it’s out of our control. Just move on,” Stars defenseman John Klingberg said.

The Stars, who have given up six power-play goals in three consecutive losses since winning the series opener, didn’t have too much time to fret over that call or the loss. Game 5 was set to start only 21 hours later in the first back-to-back in a final since 2009.

“It’s two guys going for a loose puck. That’s a hockey play, that’s what I saw,” interim head coach Rick Bowness said, adding he had watched the replay a couple of times. “They’re hooking us and we’re fighting through the hook.”

Overtime began with a 4-on-4 after both teams had penalties with 29 seconds left in regulation, and the Stars called timeout after a holding penalty against Tampa Bay gave them a 4-on-3 advantage for 66 seconds. They got only one shot on goal in that span.

“It’s a good opportunity in overtime. We’ll take that every chance we get,” Pavelski said. “You’d like to capitalize. We’ve done it in the past in this run, and failed to do so tonight.”

Pavelski has 60 career postseason goals, matching Joe Mullen for the most by a U.S.-born player. That is tied for 32nd overall on the all-time list, and not quite halfway to Wayne Gretzky’s record 122.

When he scored in the first period to give the Stars a 2-0 lead, Pavelski broke a tie for second-place among American skaters. He had been tied at 58 with Mike Modano, who was on the Stars’ only Stanley Cup championship team in 1999.

“Keep it. Next question,” Pavelski said when asked about the record.

After the first 13 seasons of his career with the San Jose Sharks, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final four years ago as their captain, Pavelski signed a three-year contract with Dallas in free agency last summer. Wanting another chance to win a championship, his final decision came down to the Stars or the Lightning.

Pavelski has 12 goals inside the bubble, the most ever in a single postseason by a player 36 or older. He had 14 goals in 67 regular-season games for the Stars.

Tyler Seguin, who had two assists and was in front of the goal when Pavelski’s turnaround shot in the third period ricocheted off the goalie and a defender, said the Stars were fortunate to have a quick turnaround.

“I believe in this team, I believe in the boys. I know we’ve got another level,” Seguin said.

“We’ll bounce back. I have full faith in our hockey club. It’s an unfortunate way to lose that game the way we battled back,” Bowness said. “We’re going to play tomorrow like we did tonight.”

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Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Travieso Arce 3: Fight card, start time, how to watch, live steam

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Two of the most popular Mexican boxers in history will face off for a third time in exhibition action on Friday at Las Torres de Tijuana Hotel in Tijuana when Julio Cesar Chavez meets Jorge “Travieso” Arce. Chavez’s son, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., will also be in action on the card, though the former middleweight champion will be fighting at a level lower than may be expected for a former world champion with 51 career victories.

Chavez Sr. is arguably the greatest Mexican boxer in history, retiring with a record of 107-6-2 after a career that saw him win world championships in three weight classes. Arce may not have reached the same “all-time great” status as Chavez Sr., but was one of Mexico’s most popular fighters during his career, compiling a 64-8-2 and world titles in three weight classes while being one of the best action fighters of his era. The fight will be a three-round exhibition bout.

Chavez Jr. (51-4, 33 KO) has been one of the most controversial fighters of the modern era, struggling with weight and drug testing issues through his career, but did have a run with the WBC middleweight title. He’ll be battling Mario Abel Cazares (11-0, 5 KO) in light heavyweight action. Cazares turned professional in 2015 and has 10 wins over men with losing records, the lone fighter with a winning record on his ledger being Eduardo Tercero, who entered the fight 9-8-1.

How to watch Chavez vs Arce

Date: Friday, Sept. 25 | Start Time: 10 pm ET
Location: Las Torres de Tijuana Hotel — Tijuana, Mexico
Stream: DAZN (Spanish broadcast only)

Chavez vs. Arce card

  • Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs. Julio Arce, exhibition
  • Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Mario Abel Cazares, light heavyweights
  • Yamileth Mercado vs. Irasema Rayas, featherweights
  • Bryan Flores vs. Carlos Encinas, middleweights
  • Misael Gracia vs. Jose Alejandro Burgos, super flyweights
  • Karim Arce vs. David Martino, super bantamweights
  • Jose Luis Castillo Romero vs. Misael Isai Ponce Galaz, featherweights

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