YEP Says, June 5: £50m plan is key to Headingley passing cricket test of time

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Redevelopment will bring historic venue into the 21st century.

THESE are, potentially, momentous times for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, with the side’s impressive performances on the pitch matched off the field of play with ambitious plans to redevelop Headingley and increase the famous Leeds ground’s capacity to 20,000 spectators.

A venue synonymous with many of the great performances in cricketing history – icons like Sir Don Bradman, Hedley Verity, Geoffrey Boycott and Sir Ian Botham have lit up Headingley through the decades – Yorkshire must move with the times if it is to compete with those modern, purpose-built grounds vying to stage Tests and one-day internationals.

As such, the club’s chairman Colin Graves and chief executive Mark Arthur should be congratulated for recognising the immediacy – and scale – of this challenge and coming up with an eyecatching masterplan, in particular the long-overdue redevelopment of the North/South Stand.

Not only will this benefit cricket devotees, but it will transform facilities on the neighbouring rugby ground where Leeds Rhinos and Leeds Carnegie compete.

The one potential drawback is finance – this redevelopment will cost £50m and Yorkshire is still in debt – but there is no reason why such a bold blueprint cannot come to fruition if the business case is strong and it increases the likelihood of Headingley hosting Ashes matches in the future.

Time for permanent tribute to town’s fallen

AS we mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day and continue to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, thoughts focus on those who have laid down their lives in service of this country.

Yet it should not just be at such times that they are remembered, which is why war memorials provide a permanent reminder of their sacrifice.

Given that Bramley has 270 fallen war heroes, including Sheldon Steel who was killed in Afghanistan three years ago, it is an oversight that it does not have a war memorial honouring its dead.

That now looks as though it will soon be corrected – and this, of all years, would be a fitting time to do so.

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