Slow play and a rough deal from the ECB dampen Edgbaston’s prospects | John Stern

Scheduling and a bidding process favouring London grounds, coupled with slow play, are challenging Edgbaston’s status as one of Test cricket’s great venues

By mid-afternoon Brum had gone to Iceland. Sections of the Eric Hollies Stand chose to serenade Joe Root with the slow handclap made famous by England’s footballing conquerors rather than the more familiar chant of Joe Root’s surname that can be mistaken for boos by the uninitiated.

The Icelandic handclap hastens to a climax, of course, but that too could have been mistaken for the traditional cricketing show of disapproval at slow play. It was mostly that kind of a day. The fancy-dress merchants were out in force at Fortress Edgbaston – traffic cones, Wallys and, apparently, Pokemon – but they were more subdued than normal.

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