YORKSHIRE last night insisted they have a strong case to stage an Ashes Test in 2023, despite speculation that they could miss out when the next allocation of international matches is announced shortly.
One national newspaper claimed that Emerald Headingley is expected to be overlooked along with Trent Bridge for the series against Australia, with the larger capacities of Edgbaston and Old Trafford preferred.
Lord’s and The Oval will almost certainly stage two of the five Tests, with Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl reportedly the other favoured venue.
The England and Wales Cricket Board are set to announce later this month the venues for international fixtures between 2020 to 2024, along with the eight host grounds for the new T20 franchise competition starting in 2020, one of which will likely be Headingley.
In a short statement, Yorkshire responded to the suggestion that their Ashes Test bid has failed and that Hampshire are set to stage their first Ashes match by saying: “We have noted the media speculation regarding the award of an Ashes 2023 Test to Hampshire.
“We respect the process that is in progress and remain convinced that Yorkshire’s case to stage an Ashes Test in 2023 is compelling.”
Yorkshire recently made a presentation to the ECB’s Host Venue Panel in support of their overall bid, which is for four Tests in the five seasons from 2020 to 2024 (the most available to non-London venues), plus a one-day international or a T20 international to go with each Test. They also asked for a one-day international and a T20 international in the one year in which they would not stage a Test.
Their case is certainly persuasive (not least in direct opposition to the perhaps less persuasive claims of the Ageas Bowl), with Yorkshire not only a hotbed of cricket and tradition, but also making waves in a commercial sense.
The club last year topped an independent customer survey by the ECB and they recently sold out the Saturday of this coming summer’s Test against Pakistan in record time.