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Yorkshire ask for more time to repay £9 million loan
Leeds City Council’s executive board will meet this week to discuss extending the length of an existing loan to Yorkshire.
A £9million loan is currently due to be repaid by April 2020, although it could now be December 2025 instead.
The move is designed to help secure international cricket at Headingley beyond the existing staging agreement with the ECB, which currently runs until 2019, while also helping with the White Rose county’s finances.
Yorkshire’s coffers are set to be boosted over the next few weeks, with a home quarter-final against Worcestershire in the Friends Life t20 in the offing.
It is a match that has not been budgeted for.
“Call it a pessimistic finance director,” quipped Charles Hartwell, Yorkshire’s finance director. Hartwell spoke about giving the club “extra security” when referring to Leeds City Council’s plan to agree to Yorkshire’s request to extend the repayment time, before confirming: “It does put us in a better position to secure international cricket in the years to come.”
Councillor Richard Lewis said: “As part of the drive for Leeds to be seen as the best city in the UK, maintaining international Test cricket at Headingley is hugely important for the profile of the city as well as the economic and tourism benefits which have come from thousands of people coming into Leeds every year to watch matches there.
“As a sporting venue, Headingley is one of the most famous in the world, so we are keen to do all we can to support and work with Yorkshire to ensure they are in the best position to secure international matches up to 2019 and beyond.”
Hartwell admitted that recent home crowds for four of their five Twenty20 North Division matches could have been better, although were by no means disastrous.
“The weather didn’t help us, as you would expect,” he admitted. “But we did get 10,500 for the game against Lancashire.”
Meanwhile, last week’s fifth one-day international between England and Australia at Old Trafford saw two Yorkshire players on 12th man duties for their respective countries.
Having been drafted into Australia’s squad as cover for the injured duo of Brett Lee and Shane Watson, fast bowler Mitchell Starc just missed out on a place in the side and ended up carrying the drinks.
And England’s 12th man was none other than Joe Sayers.