YORKSHIRE chief executive Mark Arthur has hailed the “excellent news” of Headingley being named a host venue for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Headingley will stage four matches in the tournament to go with an Ashes Test that summer and a one-day international against Pakistan.
Yorkshire were already guaranteed an Ashes Test as part of their staging agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board negotiated when they bought the Headingley ground in 2006.
Lord’s and The Oval were also guaranteed an England versus Australia Test, with Edgbaston and Old Trafford winning the race to stage the other two fixtures in the five-match series.
The Major Match schedule for 2017-2019, announced last night by the ECB, also confirmed that Yorkshire will stage a Test match against West Indies and a one-day international against South Africa in 2017, plus a Test match against Pakistan and a one-day international against India in 2018.
The fixtures, which will provide a financial boost for a club circa £24m in debt, also reward the efforts Yorkshire are making in the local community - an increasingly important consideration in the major match bidding process.
It means a mouthwatering spread of games will now cap a memorable year for the club after they won the County Championship for the first time since 2001.
And the news has been music to the ears of Tykes chief executive Arthur who said the club are delighted with their package of games.
Arthur enthused: “World Cups don’t come around very often, so to get four matches is excellent news, while we have some wonderful Tests and one-day internationals to look forward to.
“The work we are doing throughout the county, particularly in the South Asian community of Leeds and Bradford as part of Sport England’s programme, has really helped our case as well.”
The World Cup fixtures have yet to be announced, with Headingley one of 11 host venues along with Lord’s, Edgbaston, Old Trafford, The Oval, Trent Bridge, Southampton, Durham, Cardiff, Bristol and Taunton - all subject to final International Cricket Council approval next year.
Lord’s, The Oval and Edgbaston will host the other three Ashes contests as Trent Bridge and Cardiff both miss out after being named to host matches in 2015.
Taunton has also been handed its first Twenty20 international as part of the ECB’s Major Match Awards announcement with England taking on South Africa there in 2017.
The ECB also announced that the World Cup final in 2019 will take place at Lord’s with the semi-finals at Old Trafford and Edgbaston. The Women’s World Cup final will also take place at HQ in 2017. The ICC Champions Trophy will be held in England in 2017 and Cardiff, The Oval and Edgbaston will host matches in a repeat of 2013, with The Oval staging the final.
England will also face the winners of the ICC Test Challenge at Lord’s in 2019 with a four-match series between the 10th-ranked Test nation and winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup deciding their opponents.
In domestic matters, the 50-over final will continue to be held at Lord’s with Twenty20 Finals Day taking place at Edgbaston in 2017 and 2018 and Trent Bridge in 2019.
Internationally, a 16-man squad will be announced by England on Saturday, initially for the tri-series against hosts Australia and India next month.