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Big Test for Yorkshire and Headingley
Yorkshire hope a successful Test match between England and Sri Lanka next summer will strengthen their case to bring the Ashes back to Headingley in 2019 after a ten-year wait.
The White Rose county have been awarded the second of two Tests against Sri Lanka, starting on June 20, as part of their staging agreement with the ECB until the end of 2019, the year of the next but one home Ashes series.
They had not previously bid for Ashes Tests in 2013 or 2015 because, under the ECB’s process of awarding matches to the highest bidder, they felt it would be too great a financial risk.
But now the ECB have changed the process to offering matches at a fixed price while taking into account things such as ground capacity and the previous record of ticket sales.
Ahead of Friday’s one-day international between England and Australia – set to be a 17,200 Headingley sell-out – chief executive Mark Arthur also revealed the county’s interest in being a host venue for the 2019 World Cup.
He said: “All things being equal – which includes us maintaining a quality experience when people come to Headingley, making sure the crowds behave in a manner to which you’d expect, that our organisation is good, that our facilities continue to improve – if there are five Test matches in that year against Australia, then, as we are guaranteed a Test match under our staging agreement, we should be one of those grounds.
“The ECB will only take cricket to grounds in the future that guarantee sell-outs and obviously we had a very poor performance against New Zealand.
“There are mitigating factors in that but one thing they will be looking very hard at is our ability to sell a Test match in the middle of June against Sri Lanka. If we sell that well, we will get regular cricket in the future.
“We’d be very interested in being a host ground for the World Cup in 2019 but what we don’t know is what criteria is required by the ICC. One of our top priorities is to get floodlights here and that’s one of the top three things on my agenda for the winter.”
Yorkshire also plan to lower ticket prices in certain sections of the ground for the Sri Lanka Test, as well as offering a £5 discount for pre-Christmas purchases.
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